Former Group Members

Yoshihiko Arita

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. He left the group in December 2022 to join Optos.

Nicolas Dubost

Nicolas Dubost joined the Optical Manipulation Group as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in 2020, after completing a PhD at Durham University. During this time, he worked on point-diffraction interferometry for wavefront sensing in astronomical adaptive optics. His current research involves the use and development of light-sheet microscopy for biomedical applications.

Persephone Poulton

Persephone Poulton

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 built on advanced microscopy methods (including SIM and Light-Sheet Microscopy) for applications in histopathology, and she successfully completed her PhD in December 2022.

Hyeonwoo Lee

Hyeonwoo Lee worked with the Optical Manipulation Group in 2022, working on all-fiber light sheet generation. He received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. at Yonsei University in South Korea, working on laser heating effect inside the fluidic medium and non-diffractive beam generation based on the optical fiber.

Mingzhou Chen

Mingzhou Chen

Mingzhou Chen was a senior research fellow whose research interests included 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). He left the group in September 2022 to work with Ceres Holographics.

Alistair Bounds

Alistair Bounds joined the Optical Manipulation Group as a Research Fellow in October 2021, with interests in development of novel diffusive imaging techniques and applications. He completed a PhD in quantum atomic physics at Durham University (2013-2017), developing methods to combine atom-atom interactions and laser cooling in a gas of ultracold strontium, before moving into biophotonics to target impact- and health-focused research. His previous postdoctoral work at Durham University includes development of novel dental imaging methods to detect early-stage dental caries (cavities) and instruments to characterise the optical properties of photoactive molecules. He left the group in September 2022 to take up a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship with Occuity.

Georgina Shillito

Georgina Shillito obtained a PhD in chemistry from the University of Otago, New Zealand in 2019 and specialises in Raman spectroscopy. Her PhD involved investigation of charge transfer states in transition metal complexes, which displayed potential to function as molecular sensors or light-harvesting solar dyes. Her research has involved the use of various vibrational and electronic spectroscopic techniques, as well some computational chemistry methods. As part of the Optical Manipulation group, she was utilising Raman spectroscopy to study a range of samples in complex media. She left the group in January 2022 to take up a postdoctoral position Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany.

Fiona Bairstow

Fiona Bairstow

Fiona Bairstow was 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. She left the group in 2021.

Roopam Gupta

Roopam Gupta 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 focussed 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. He completed his PhD in January 2021.

Paul Hawthorne

Paul Hawthorne obtained his Integrated Master’s degree in physics from the University of St Andrews, and went on to pursue his Engineering Doctorate, where his project is the use of LIDAR in extreme environments. He worked within the Optical Manipulation Group as a visiting student in 2020 on a project in speckle metrology.

XiaoYong Duan

XiaoYong Duan

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 from March to October 2020 to explore new ideas in optical binding

Paloma Rodriguez Sevilla

Paloma Rodríguez-Sevilla

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. She left the group in September 2020 to take up a Juan de la Cierva fellowship at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

Holly Fleming

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. She worked in the optical manipulation group from January 2019 to August 2020 on Raman spectroscopy, and moved on to a postdoctoral position at University of Dundee.

Daria Majchrowicz

Daria Majchrowicz

Daria Majchrowicz obtained her BSc in Biomedical Engineering and MSc in Electronics from the Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics of Gdańsk University of Technology, Poland. She received her PhD degree with honors in Electronics from Gdańsk University of Technology in 2019. She worked in research projects financed by national Polish funds at the Department of Metrology and Optoelectronics at Gdańsk University of Technology. She became the head of the Preludium project financed by Polish National Science Centre. Her main research area is biophotonics, and she focuses on low-coherence optical fiber sensors with nanodiamond structures and applications of optical measurements for measuring physical quantities. She joined the group as a one-year visiting scholar in September 2019.

Federico Gasparoli

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 joined the Optical Manipulation Group to develop novel imaging techniques for high-throughput screening in April 2018, and moved to Harvard Medical School as an Advanced Microscopy Fellow in May 2020.

Jonathan 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 continued to work in the group as a Research Fellow. He left the group to take up a Lectureship at University of Dundee in January 2020. 

Adrià Escobet Montalbán

Adrià 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. He completed his PhD in January 2020. 

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 visited 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. 

Ivan Gusachenko

Ivan Gusachenko joined the group in 2015 as a Research Fellow. His research work mainly focuses on wavefront shaping of light in complex and scattering media such as optical fibres, and its applications to microscopy and optical trapping. Ivan finished his BSc in Novosibirsk State University in Russia, and then pursued his MSc and PhD degree in Ecole Polytechnique, France, where he studied second harmonic generation microscopy in biological tissues. After his PhD, Ivan spent 3 years as a postdoc in Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Japan, where his research was concentrated on optical nanofibres and metal nanoapertures applied to optical trapping. Ivan left the group in December 2018. 

Frances Goff

Frances Goff is a PhD student in the Biophotonics group. Her main focus is on the protein ‘Willin’ discovered in the brain by Frank Gunn-Moore’s lab and which has been shown to have a role in both cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease. She will be using the SIM microscope to obtain high resolution images of the cellular cytoskeleton interacting with Willin. She has a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of St Andrews. Frances successfully defended her thesis titled “Optical techniques for the investigation of a mechanical role for FRMD6/Willin in the Hippo signalling pathway” in November 2018. 

Pengfei Liu

Pengfei Liu is a Joint PhD student in Tianjin University, China and he worked in the Optical Manipulation Group for 2018. His main focus is on super-resolution methods in optical microscopy. His research focused on advanced light-sheet microscopy systems. 

Naomi McReynolds

Naomi McReynolds graduated from the University of St. Andrews with a Masters in Physics in 2011. She started her PhD in the Biophotonics group in September 2013 where her project focused on developing detection applications for smartphones using fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy techniques. Naomi received her doctorate in December 2017 for her thesis titled “Advanced multimodal methods in biomedicine : Raman spectroscopy and digital holographic microscopy”. 

Zhengyi Yang

Zhengyi Yang obtained his MEng in engineering in East China University of Science and Technology in 2010. He then moved to University of Dundee for PhD degree in Electrical Engineering and Physics, where he was investigating beam shaping techniques for imaging and manipulation. In February 2014, Zhengyi joined the group as a research fellow working on light sheet microscopy and optical trapping. Zhengyi left the group in October 2017 to take up a position at Diamond Light Source.