Kishan Dholakia

Professor Kishan Dholakia (FRSE, OSA Fellow, SPIE Fellow) is a professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy. He has worked for a number of years as a postdoctoral research fellow, a Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Fellow, and now as a permanent member of staff. His research interests cover pretty much everything related to optics.

Research Staff

yoshiaritaYoshihiko Arita

Yoshihiko Arita is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow who works on optical photoporation and cell transfection. He obtained his DPhil in physics at Oxford in 2008 then became a PDRA to further his doctoral research on broadband absorption spectroscopy using multi-mode lasers to detect spectral signatures of multiple species. Yoshi also has significant experience in the instrumentation of time-of-flight mass spectrometers (TOF-MS) from working at Kore Technology Ltd in Cambridge and Horiba Ltd in Kyoto for seven years before his PhD.

mingzhouchenMingzhou Chen

Mingzhou Chen is a  postdoctoral research fellow whose research interests include optical vortices, laser beam correction and complex optical wave fields. He obtained a master degree in 2002, from Tianjin University (China). After graduation and until early 2005 he had been working in industry. In 2009 he completed his PhD at University of Pretoria (South Africa) under supervision of Professor S. Roux. From December 2008 to September 2012, he has been working with Professor Chris Dainty as a postdoctoral researcher at the Applied Optics Group in National University of Ireland Galway (Ireland).

jonathannylkJonathan Nylk

Jonathan Nylk graduated from the University of St Andrews with a Masters in Physics with Photonics in 2012. He started his PhD in the Optical Manipulation Group in June 2012 with the focus of using structured light to develop advanced optical microscopy techniques for use in the biomedical sciences. In 2016 he completed his PhD and continues his work in the group as a Research Fellow.

grahambruceGraham Bruce

Graham Bruce graduated from University of St Andrews in 2007 with an MPhys degree in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics. He remained in St Andrews to complete a PhD in the Cassettari group, working on ultracold atoms and the generation of novel optical trapping geometries using computer generated holography. His postdoctoral research was carried out at University of Strathclyde, constructing the world’s first quantum gas microscope for fermionic atoms, and back in St Andrews developing cold-atom rotation sensors.  He joined the Optical Manipulation group as a research fellow in August 2016, working on optical trapping and cooling in vacuum.

Stella Corsetti

Stella Corsetti joined the Optical Manipulation Group as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in February 2018. She obtained her BSc in Biomedical Engineering and her MSc in Bio-Nanotechnology Engineering from the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’. She received her PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Aberdeen in 2016. Her project involved the use of single particle manipulation techniques and Raman and Infrared spectroscopy to study hydrocarbon phase transitions. She then became a PDRA exploring the applications of Raman spectroscopy and surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) in drug discovery and medical diagnostics. Her current research interests focus on the development and application of advanced optical and spectroscopic techniques for medical diagnostics and environmental sensing.

Paloma Rodriguez

Paloma Rodriguez Sevilla obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Physics by the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain) in 2013. Then she obtained a Master in Biophysiscs by the same university in 2014. From 2012 she worked in the Fluorescence Imaging Group in which she developed her thesis on optical trapping of upconverting particle. After finishing her PhD studies in July 2017, Paloma joined the Optical Manipulation Group as a research fellow to explore new ideas in optical manipulation.

Federico Gasparoli

Federico Gasparoli obtained his Bachelor Degree in Biotechnology at the University of Milan – Bicocca before moving to Ireland for his Master of Science in Imaging and Microscopy at the University College Dublin (UCD) in the R Lab. He then joined the Systems Biophotonics group at the University of St Andrews for his PhD in “Novel imaging and light-mediated control of (epi-)genetic states in 3D models of disease”, which he completed in 2018. Federico joins the Optical Manipulation Group to develop novel imaging techniques for high-throughput screening.

Phillip Wijesinghe

Phillip Wijesinghe is a postgraduate Research Fellow working on computational imaging, biophysics and numerical methods in biomedicine. Coming from a background in electronic and computer engineering, and cell physiology, he has completed his PhD in the Optical+Biomedical Engineering Laboratory (OBEL) in the University of Western Australia (2014-2017). His PhD work focused on the development of optical coherence tomography-based methods to image the mechanical properties of tissues and cells, in particular, towards applications in cell mechanobiology, cardiology and oncology. In 2017-2018 he was a Research Associate in the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, Western Australia, where he continued his PhD work through new computational methods and photonics tools.

Holly Fleming
Holly graduated from Edinburgh University with an MChem in Medicinal and Biological Chemistry in June 2014 which included a year out in Singapore. There, she worked on synthesising osmium-based carbon monoxide releasing molecules (CO-RMs). Her master’s project involved synthesising novel redox sensitive napthoquinone derivatives for biological sensing. She started her PhD in September 2014 as part of the Centre for Doctoral Training in OPTIMA, which provided a programme of business training in healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship. Her PhD project, in conjunction with the EPSRC PROTEUS project, focussed on developing substrates for surface enhance Raman spectroscopy (SERS) for applications in optical fibre sensing and in 3D cell culture models.

PhD Students

adriamontalbanAdrià Escobet Montalbán

Adrià Escobet Montalbán studied Engineering Physics at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya from 2011 to 2015. He carried out his undergraduate thesis at the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO). He then moved to Imperial College London and obtained a MSc in Optics and Photonics in 2016. Adrià joined the group in October 2016 to pursue a PhD with a main focus on light-sheet fluorescence microscopy.

roopamguptaRoopam Gupta

Roopam Gupta graduated from Indian institute of Science education and research Kolkata with an Integrated BS-MS degree in Physical Sciences. He joined the Optical Manipulation Group in October 2016. His research focuses on label-free micro-spectroscopic characterisation of cells of the immune system.

Persephone Poulton

Persephone began her PhD in the Optical Manipulation Group in September 2018. In May 2018, she graduated from the University of St Andrews where her Masters project involved creating a computational model of Optical Coherence Tomography using Monte Carlo techniques. Her current research builds on advanced microscopy methods (including SIM and Light-Sheet Microscopy) for applications in histopathology.

Fiona Bairstow

Fiona Bairstow is a PhD student working on optical coherence tomographyin a joint project between the Optical Manipulation group and Prof. Tom Brown. She graduated with a Masters degree in physics from the University of Kent in 2018 where her masters project focused on dispersion measurements by complex master slave interferometry.

Morgan Facchin

Morgan Facchin obtained a Bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Avignon, and a Master’s degree in astrophysics from the University of Toulouse. In 2017 and 2018 he worked on phase singularities and superoscillations in solar waves. Then he joined the Optical Manipulation group in 2019 to work on new ways of harnessing laser speckle patterns for high accuracy measurements, as well as optical manipulation.

Madhu Veettikazhy

Madhu graduated from Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology Thiruvananthapuram with an M. Tech. degree in Optical Engineering, where he investigated the propagation of vortex beams through atmospheric turbulence. He joined Technical University of Denmark (DTU) as a PhD student in February 2018 focusing on two photon light-sheet microscopy through an optical fibre. Madhu is visiting the Optical Manipulation Group in 2019. The project expands existing collaborations between DTU Fotonik and the University of St Andrews, as well as with the private fibre company OFS.

Past Members and Visitors