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'Forget biology, chemistry or physics – the most exciting research is happening at the interface of the disciplines' 

Our group looks into the fascinating redox chemistry occurring at bio-material interfaces and within natural energy transfer processes. We use a highly multidisciplinary approach to probe and manipulate the bioenergetics of living systems to address challenges relating to clean energy generation, the environment, climate change and health. We combine the strengths of chemical biology, material chemistry, (photo)electrochemistry to:

  • answer fundamental questions about natural energy conversion processes such as photosynthesis and extracellular electron transfer.
  • create novel platforms for biotechnologies (e.g. for fuels/power generation, bio-sensing, anti-fouling).
  • create new tools for understanding and controlling the biology at bio-material interfaces.

 

NEWS ITEMS

2024 - February We are really excited to be awarded the BBSRC Engineering Biology Mission Award (link)!

2024 - January Evan submitted his PhD thesis! We welcome Kaizhong Xing to the group! 

2023

2023 - December We went to see 'Wonka' at the movies as a group, followed by our traditional winter hotpot night to celebrate the festive season! We were also incredibly moved by the generosity of the people in our department, who donated many toys/presents to the Christmas gift appeal organised by our Mphil student, Jess Wilson. Jess will bring these gifts to her mum's school in her home town, where many children normally do not receive any Christmas presents. 


2023 - November Our ERC Consolidator, E-SYNERGY, was funded!! We'll be developing an exciting new method to develop synergistic bio-material partnerships. Bartek Witek passed his Mphil viva and begins his Phd in Newcastle/UCL. 


2023 - October The academic year starts! We welcome Loris Marcel (C-CLEAR NERC DTP) who starts his PhD with us. Also welcome to Gabriella Holland who starts her Part III with us; and to Jess Wilson, who begins her big Mphil year with us. We farewell the amazing Dr Mary Wood, who launches her research group as Novo Nordisk Assistant Professor of Biophysics Niels Bohr International Academy University of Copenhagen!! 


2023 - August/September We had a great summer! Lots of hard work, but also some rest and travel. Some examples - Mary presents two talks (one in Leeds and one in Lyon), Jenny goes to Paris for the Reversibility Workshop, and Audrey makes it into the semi-finals of the World Pea Shooting Championship despite it being her first time in the sport... 


2023 - July We welcome our summer students: Jess Wilson, Chiara Delpiano Cordeiro, and Hasnain Javed! Also welcome to Chao Bao, who starts his Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellowship with us!


2023 - June We welcome Audrey Short, a visiting Kavli Scholar from UC Berkeley to join our group until October! Audrey will be working with us to find new ways of understanding photo-protection mechanisms in algae and cyanobacteria! Rachel captained her W3 Hughs Hall rowing team to many victories in the May Bumps, bumping three days out of four. Huge congrats to Ben Schwabe for winning the Dudley Williams Prize for his part III (Masters) research project with us! Jenny presents a plenary keynote at the Israel Electrochemical Society Conference in Haifa and at the Italian Society of Photobiology in Lecce.


2023 - May We welcome Dr Ismaila Emahi from the University of Energy and Natural Resources, Ghana, to join our group for the next 6 weeks! Ismaila will be working with us to develop DNA aptamer electrochemical biosensors for water pollutants as part of our collaborative Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA research project! 


2023 - April We are in recovery mode from an amazing workshop last month! Snippets can be seen here


2023 - March: We farewell Dr Xiaolong Chen, who starts as a lecturer at Nottingham University - good luck Xiaolong!
We're also preparing frantically for the Biophotoelectrochemical Workshop, to be hosted in Cambridge, at the end of the month!
Our new Nature paper is out!! 
https://www.cam.ac.uk/stories/hacking-photosynthesis
We also welcome Anthony Anh Phung as a Easter intern in our group.


2023 - January/February: Where did the time go? Everyone returns from holidays and jumps back into the lab; Jenny lectures C1 Electrochemistry.

 

2022

2022 - December: Nice end to 2022, hot pot Christmas dinner with secret Santa, and then lots of karaoke. Happy holidays to all!


2022 - November: We welcome back Shella Willyam, who is back from Indonesia and joining us for a PhD as a Jadine-Cambridge Trust Scholar!


2022 - October: We welcome Sivan Nir (Blavatnik Fellow) and Leanne Milburn (Cambridge Trust and NSERC Scholar) to the group! Also, Jurassic crazy golf, here we come...


2022 - September: Yoshua Moore visits us from TUM to make porous electrodes. Jenny presented at the Winter School for Physical Organic Chemistry at Ischia, Italy.


2022 - August: Back-to-back conferences - International Electrochemical Society Regional Conference in Prague, then International Symposium on Phototrophic Prokaryotes in Liverpool. Josh wins (another) poster prize at the ISPP!!


2022 - July: We welcome Jessica Wilson, who is doing her RSC summer internship with us! 


2022 - May-June: We welcome Robin Horton as a NanoDTC midi student! Also welcome to Dr Vincent Friebe, Prof Nicolas Plumeré and visiting scholars to our group. Jenny was awarded a L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science UK and Ireland Rising Talents Awards!! 


2022 - April: BES conference in Antwerp, here we come! Also, our Cambridge Creative Encounters collaboration with animator Shuna Luo can finally be unveiled! Check out the final result here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywIGCGcN1Ls. The photo that Gaby and Xiaolong took of our electrodes was picked as one of the best science images of the month by Nature Briefings. Rachel and Evan presented their first in-person poster at the BES conference - both did an amazing job. Congrats to Rachel for winning a best poster prize!!


2022 - March: Our paper '3D-printed hierarchical pillar array electrodes for high-performance semi-artificial photosynthesis' was published in Nature Materials! Nature Materials Reviews did a nice feature on it: Electricity from cells | Nature Reviews Materials. Jenny talks at the Cambridge University Scientific Society.


2022 - January to February: Jenny teaches the C1 Electrochemistry course. Benedetta Gaggio (NanoDTC) joins Louise Hirst (Physics) and our group for an interdisciplinary mini-project. Gerardo Patino Guillen (NanoDTC) joins Michael De Volder (Engineering) and our group for an interdisciplinary mini-project. 


 

2021

2021 - November to December: It's been a busy Michaelmas Term! Jenny attended LightCheC in Zurich, the first in person meeting in a long time. Rachel was awarded a NanoDTC Associateship. Mairi was interviewed by the BBC for her amazing nature photography work. Evan returns from his internship with a NGO supporting events around COP26. 


2021 - October: We welcomed our new postdoc Dr Mary Wood (Human Frontier Fellow from EPFL), our new Mphil student Lan Nan (from Nottingham University) and Part III student Emma Pike!


2021 - September: We co-hosted (with the RSC) the annual RSC Chemical Science Symposium (Theme: Biohybrids in Sustainable Energy Conversion). Congratulations to our students Joshua Lawrence and Rachel Egan who both won poster prizes! We farewell Alice Beardmore and PhD student Laura Wey (co-group member with Howe group), who starts a postdoc with Yagot Allahverdiyeva-Rinne (University of Turku). Good luck Laura!


2021 - July to August:  Our collaborative paper (with Howe group, Biochemistry) 'A biophotoelectrochemical approach to unravelling the role of cyanobacterial cell structures in exoelectrogenesis' was published! We farewelled Connie and welcome Alice Beardmore as summer interns. Jenny was awarded with her RSC Felix Franks Medal for Biotechnology!


2021 - June: We welcomed our summer student Connie Zhao.


2021 - May: We welcomed our new Mphil student, Shella Wylliam (Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education Scholarship). Laura gave a fantastic talk at the Bioelectrochemical Society Conference, Josh won a poster prize. Congrats to both.


2021 - February to April: We had a fun combined group meeting with the group of Tanai Cardona (ICL, London). We farewelled Part III students Henry Fong and Mairi Eyres. 


2021 - January: Our paper on 'Phenazines as model low-midpoint potential electron shuttles for photosynthetic bioelectrochemical systems' published in Chemical Science. Rachel Egan successful defended her Mphil and starts a PhD (Robert Gardiner Memorial/Cambridge Trust Scholar).


2020

2020 - November to December: We had fun holding combined group meetings with the groups of Silvia Vignolini (Cambridge), Roisin Owens (Cambridge), Susan Daniel (Cornell)


2020 - October: We farewelled Luke Kramer (Gates Scholar) and wish him best of luck in his Med Degree. We welcomed Linying Shang (CSC/Cambridge Trust Scholar) joining us for a PhD. We also welcomed our Part III students Mairi Eyres and Henry Fong. We co-hosted the NanoGE International Conference on Biohybrid Approaches to Solar Energy Conversion. It was a huge success and group member Xiaolong Chen came away with a poster prize!
                          

Related image                         Logos and acknowledgement | The Leverhulme Trust                         Gatsby Foundation