Group Leader

Kishan Dholakia

+44 (0)1334 463184
ORCID: 0000-0001-6534-9009


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.


Yoshihiko Arita

Research Fellow
+44 (0)1334 461656
ORCID: 0000-0002-8704-545X

Yoshi Arita is a research fellow whose primary focus of study is on levitated optomechanics with structured light. He completed a DPhil in atomic and laser physics with a thesis entitled “Multi-mode absorption spectroscopy” in the Paul Ewart group at University of Oxford. He moved to St Andrews to pursue his postdoctoral research, including laser transfection, digital holographic microscopy and micromanipulation both in liquid, air and vacuum. He became a research associate professor (part-time) at Chiba University in Japan since October 2015, directing a new research strand, photopolymerisation with structured light.

Fiona Bairstow

Fiona Bairstow

PhD Student
+44 (0) 1334 463091

Fiona Bairstow is a PhD student working on optical coherence tomography in 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.

Graham Bruce

Senior Research Laboratory Manager
+44 (0)1334 463019
ORCID: 0000-0003-3403-0614

Graham Bruce is a senior researcher and laboratory manager in the group. He graduated from University of St Andrews with an MPhys degree in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics and remained in St Andrews to complete a PhD in ultracold atoms and the generation of novel optical trapping geometries. 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, and has diversified his research interests to work on optical trapping and cooling in vacuum, speckle metrology and Raman spectroscopy.

Mingzhou Chen

Senior Research Fellow
+44 (0)1334 461655
ORCID: 0000-0002-6190-5167
ResearcherID: F-3409-2011

Mingzhou Chen is a senior research fellow whose whose research interests include multiphoton tissue imaging, Raman spectroscopy, OCT, optical vortices, beam shaping and complex optical wave fields. He obtained a master degree from Tianjin University (China). After a period working in industry, he completed his PhD at University of Pretoria (South Africa) under supervision of Professor S. Roux. He has also worked with Professor Chris Dainty as a postdoctoral researcher at the Applied Optics Group in National University of Ireland Galway (Ireland).

Stella Corsetti

Research Fellow
+44 (0)1334 461653
ORCID: 0000-0002-9894-7061

Stella Corsetti joined the Optical Manipulation Group as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in February 2018. Her research includes the use of advanced optical and imaging techniques for biomedical applications and medical diagnostics. She obtained her BSc in Biomedical Engineering and her MSc in Bio-Nanotechnology Engineering from the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’,  and her PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Aberdeen. 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.

XiaoYong Duan

XiaoYong Duan

Visiting Scholar
+44 (0)1334 461653
ORCID: 0000-0002-6988-4444

XiaoYong Duan obtained his Diploma in physics from Jinzhong University, MSc in theoretical physics from Guizhou University and PhD in physics from Tongji University. He has been working in School of Mathematics, Physics and Information Engineering, Jiaxing University in China from 2008. His main research area is optical manipulation, and he focuses on the optical binding of multiple nanoparticles with electric and magnetic responses. He joined the group as a visiting scholar to explore new ideas in optical binding.

Morgan Facchin

Morgan Facchin

PhD Student
+44 (0) 1334 461655
ORCID: 0000-0003-3143-068X

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.

Roopam Gupta

PhD Student
+44 (0) 1334 463124
ORCID: 0000-0002-3267-9009

Roopam Gupta is a final year PhD student in the group. He graduated from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata with an integrated BS-MS degree in Physical sciences. During his masters, Roopam worked in experimental condensed matter physics and focussed on studying the “Magneto-optical Kerr effect in correlated optical systems”; more specifically – he studied the effects of magnetic field on bi-layer structures of metallic and topological insulator materials. His PhD focuses on the applications of machine learning for the development of label-free optical hemograms of immune cells by using spectroscopic and imaging modalities and for the development of speckle based wavemeters and spectrometers.

Paul Hawthorne

Visiting Student
+44 (0) 1334 463213

Paul Hawthorne obtained his Integrated Master’s degree in physics from the University of St Andrews. As part of this degree, he worked within the Optical Manipulation Group on a project in speckle metrology. He is currently completing his Engineering Doctorate, where his project is the use of LIDAR in extreme environments. Whilst based in St Andrews, he is continuing the work started during his masters project, with a focus on the measurement of Total Angular Momentum using speckle.

Persephone Poulton

Persephone Poulton

PhD Student
+44 (0) 1334 461653
ORCID: 0000-0002-7263-8156

Persephone 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 PhD research builds on advanced microscopy methods (including SIM and Light-Sheet Microscopy) for applications in histopathology.

Paloma Rodriguez Sevilla

Paloma Rodríguez Sevilla

Research Fellow
+44 (0)1334 461655
ORCID: 0000-0003-4743-6576

Paloma Rodríguez Sevilla obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Physics, a Master in Biophysics and her PhD at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain). She worked in the Fluorescence Imaging Group in which she developed her thesis on optical trapping of upconverting particles, and joined the Optical Manipulation Group as a research fellow to explore new ideas in optical manipulation.

Philip Wijesinghe

Philip Wijesinghe

Research Fellow
+44 (0)1334 461653
ORCID: 0000-0002-8378-7261

Philip Wijesinghe joined the group as a Research Fellow in 2018, with a focus on merging theory, computational and numerical methods towards imaging in biophotonics and biophysics. In particular, he works in light-sheet and multiphoton microscopy, with a focus on computational imaging via multiplexing, sparce sensing and recovery, and deep learning. Previously, he was a Research Associate in the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and a PhD Student in the Optical+Biomedical Engineering Laboratory (OBEL) in the University of Western Australia. There his work focused on the development of optical coherence tomography-based methods to image the mechanical properties of tissues and cells towards applications in cell mechanobiology, cardiology and oncology.

Key Collaborators

Peter Andersen

Department of Health Technology,
Technical University of Denmark

Shanti Bhattacharya

Department of Electrical Engineering,
IIT Madras

Kylie Dunning

Adelaide Medical School,
University of Adelaide

Malte Gather

School of Physics and Astronomy,
University of St Andrews

Stephen Gillespie

School of Medicine,
University of St Andrews

Frank Gunn-Moore

School of Biology,
University of St Andrews

Thomas Krauss

Department of Physics,
University of York

Takashige Omatsu

Molecular Chirality Research Centre,
Chiba University

Silvia Paracchini

School of Medicine,
University of St Andrews

Michael Prystowsky

Department of Pathology,
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

James Pullman

Department of Pathology,
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Ewan Wright

College of Optical Sciences,
University of Arizona