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Current Graduate Students


The Postdoc Mentors are a pool of postdocs who have volunteered to act as a support network for graduate students when they want to discuss the next stage in their lives with somebody who has been through the process more recently than their Departmental Academic Mentor.

A postdoc mentor may also be willing to discuss the current academic progress of a student, in the context of them putting themselves into a good position to make the next step in their career but should not normally be approached for pastoral support: students requiring pastoral support should approach one of our Departmental Tutors or their College Graduate Tutor.

Our current postdoc mentors are:

Tim Allen is a Post Doctoral Research Assistant in the Goodman group and a member of St John's College, Cambridge.  Tim read Natural Sciences at St John's, specialising in Chemistry. He completed his master’s project in the Goodman group investigating the temperature dependence of solubility for drug and drug-like compounds. Having graduated in 2012 he returned to the group in January 2013 to undertake his PhD project in chemical toxicology. Following on from this in 2016, Tim began a PostDoc looking into the development of three dimensional quantitative-structure activity relationships for toxicity risk assessment based around Molecular Initiating Events (MIEs).

Claudio Battilocchio is a Syngenta-funded PDRA in the Ley group and member of Homerton College. His current research deals with the development of robust and scalable flow methodology for Process Development and Manufacturing applications. Claudio’s research is also focused on pushing the boundaries of scientific discoveries towards novel strategies to build molecules.  Claudio obtained his degree in Medicinal Chemistry in 2008. After a brief period as research assistant to develop new antimycobacterial agents (Cariplo fellowship), he started his PhD studies under the supervision of Prof. Mariangela Biava in 2009, working on the design and development of novel nitric oxide donors hybrids (Rottapharm fellowship). In 2011 he joined the ITC (Innovative Technology Centre) at the University of Cambridge as a visiting student. Claudio received his PhD in February 2013 at "Sapienza" University of Rome. In 2012 Claudio was appointed to a Pfizer-funded research position in the Ley group to conduct various chemical synthesis projects under the Open Innovation programme.

Krishna Bulusu is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Andreas Bender’s group at the Centre for Molecular Informatics working in the field of Cheminformatics-driven Drug Discovery. He is currently also an MRC Exchange Fellow at AstraZeneca. Krishna received his PhD from the Institute of Cancer Research, University of London specializing in the field of Computational Biology and Chemogenomics. He hails from Hyderabad, India where he finished his Bachelors in Biotechnology, before moving to Edinburgh for an MSc in Bioinformatics. Having been part of institutes, groups and projects that involved a significant collaborative effort, Krishna could help provide an informed opinion as to the next steps of your scientific career. He has been a mentor to students both as part of his PhD studies and his current position, and does empathise with the scenarios students face not just as part of their research but also with the next phase of their careers.

Emre Esenturk is an applied mathematician who graduated from Pittsburgh University with a PhD in 2011. Since then, he has worked as a postdoc in Brown University, Pohang University, Warwick University and (now) Cambridge University in the Atmospheric Group (with John Pyle), on various theoretical physics/chemistry problems from a modelling and mathematical points of view

Michael Gaultois I completed my BSc and MSc in Canada, completed my PhD in California, and I'm currently a post-doc here in Cambridge. I can probably help if you want to learn about international awards, fellowships, and research opportunities. I study solid state chemistry and have a lot of experience with materials characterization, so I can also help out there if need beTechnique wise, I have a lot of experience with synchrotron experiments, X-ray diffraction, X-ray scattering, as well as X-ray absorption spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.

Matthew Grayson is a Research Fellow at Girton College. Matt obtained his PhD in 2014 with Jonathan Goodman and conducted postdoctoral research with Ken Houk at UCLA during 2015 before returning to Cambridge and his fellowship at Girton. Matt’s research focuses on discovering the mechanisms of organic and enzymatic reactions using computational methods.

Tanya Hutter is a Research Fellow with Darwin College at the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge. She has completed her PhD in Physical Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry in 2013. Her research interests include micro-fabrication, nanotechnology, chemical sensors, bio-sensors and medical diagnostic devices. Tanya’s interests are not just in demonstration of new science, but also in commercialisation of new technologies. Her academic work includes working together with clinicians to develop and commercialise new diagnostic medical devices. Tanya is also the founder of a start-up tech company, SensorHut Ltd, which aims to develop new chemical sensor technology.

Janet Kumita: I received an Honours B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Waterloo and completed my Ph.D. at the University of Toronto in the laboratory of Prof. G.A. Woolley, where my work involved investigating reversible photo-control of peptide structure and activity. In 2003, I was awarded a NSERC (Canada) Postdoctoral Fellowship and joined the research group of Prof. C.M. Dobson in the Dept. of Chemistry, University of Cambridge. I have remained a member of the Dobson group within the newly established Centre for Misfolding Diseases, and during this time, I balanced having two children with being a Co-researcher Investigator on a BBRSC Project grant and now a Senior Research Associate. My research interests focus on studying the mechanism of protein misfolding, on a molecular level, and how biological molecules such as extracellular chaperones modify and influence this process.

Nitin Sharma: I did M.Sc in Bioinformatics from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, India. During masters, I developed interest in computer aided drug design and thus joined the Ph.D. programme at Department of Pharmacy, National University of Singapore. During Ph.D., I worked under the supervision of Dr. Yap Chun Wei, gaining experience in different aspects of computational biology and chemistry to predict novel drug like molecules and analyse interaction of binding poses using methodologies such as QSAR, docking and molecular dynamics.  Following Ph.D., I moved to Cambridge to join Bender group as Post-Doctoral Research Associate for project in collaboration with the Italian company Aboca. The project utilizes bioinformatics and cheminformatics techniques along with next generation sequencing data to investigate the mode of biological action of various herbal extracts. This will aid our understanding of the potential health benefits of herbal and other related natural products. The main research interests are: analysing mode of action of natural extracts; understanding synergistic effect of compounds; predicting novel drug targets and bioactive compounds; understanding interaction and structure of targets using molecular dynamics.

Tessa Sinnige studied Life Science & Technology at Leiden University and the TU Delft, followed by a master at Utrecht University and the TU Munich to specialise in structural biology and biophysics. From 2010 to 2014, Tessa did her PhD studies under supervision of Prof. Marc Baldus at Utrecht University, where she studied the plasticity of the beta-barrel assembly machinery by NMR spectroscopy. Since 2015 she is a postdoc in the Centre for Misfolding Diseases supported by NWO Rubicon and EMBO fellowships, and a research associate at Jesus College. She currently works on C. elegans models of neurodegenerative diseases, with the aim to understand the molecular mechanisms behind protein aggregation and neurotoxicity in vivo.

Karen Stroobants is a post-doctoral Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Centre for Misfolding Diseases / Department of Chemistry. With a strong background in the biophysical characterisation of proteins, she recently engaged in the study of membrane protein aggregates and their potential role in neurodegenerative diseases. She is a By-Fellow at Churchill College and is a member of the workshops committee of CUSPE (Cambridge University Science and Policy Exchange). Before moving to the UK, Karen received a prestigious PhD Fellowship at KU Leuven, Belgium, where she worked on the development of a novel methodology for protein hydrolysis under ambiguous conditions. Apart from being a researcher, Karen has always been interested in personal development workshops and has continuously engaged in events promoting science communication between different academic players, policy makers and society in general.

Israel Temprano 2009-present: Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge; 2009: Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Dept. of Chemistry, University of Liverpool; 2005-2010: PhD, Surface Science, Dept. of Chemistry, Universite Laval, Canada, under the supervision of Prof. Peter McBreen; 2004-2005: MSc, Surface and Interface Science, Dept. of Chemistry, Universite Laval, Canada; 2003: BA, Chemistry, Universidade da Coruna, Spain.  Research Interests: Catalytic and tribological properties of interstitial alloys; Molecular self-assembly at surfaces. Technical Skills: Reflection-Absorption Infrared Spectroscopy; Auger Electron Spectroscopy; Low Energy Electron Diffraction; Thermal Desorption Spectrometry; X-Ray Photoemission Spectroscopy; Scanning Tunnelling Spectroscopy.