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Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry


Hello all! Welcome. My name is Leanne (she/her) and here you will find a brief description of my historical and recent academic undertakings.

Having been raised in Edmonton (Canada) I began honing my interests in the sciences through undergraduate and early graduate studies. My Bachelor of Science (Biology/Chemistry; 2020) at the University of Alberta was characterized by several independent research projects, including investigations in the following:

  • changes to the metabolic profile (ATP output, ROS generation, etc.) of mammalian cells given genetic knock-out of specific proteins
  • stabilization of phage-based antibiotics by encapsulation within a spray-dried powder matrix suitable for storage at room temperature
  • surface modification of silicon quantum dots to equip them as a photoluminescent probe for hazardous nitroaromatic chemical

It was the accumulation of these experiences that urged me toward continued studies and I later completed a Master's of Science (Materials Chemistry; 2022) in the group of Dr. Jonathan Veinot to deepen our understanding of the aforementioned silicon quantum dot sensing platform. We later transitioned to a focus on materials that could address the modern energy transition. Here, I was involved in the creation of redox-active carbon nanodots as integral components in redox-flow batteries (a genre intended for grid-scale energy storage).

That brings us up to the present moment where I am pursuing a Doctorate in the group of Dr. Jenny Zhang at the University of Cambridge. We are generally interested in finding ways to unravel the complex metabolic processes that give rise to the phenomenon of exoelectrogenesis. This relates to the extractable current observed when photosynthetically active microorganisms are "wired" to an electrode; it is the fundamental process behind the biophotovoltaic. Increasingly sustainable forms of photovoltaic technology are another essential component in the transition to a renewable energy sector.

Thank you for reading!


A Complementary Silicon Quantum Dot-Enzyme Platform for the Selective Detection of Nitroaromatic Compounds: Explosives versus Nerve Agents
LA Milburn, CJT Robidillo, R Dalangin, Y Shen, JGC Veinot
– ACS Applied Nano Materials
A Complementary Silicon Quantum Dot-Enzyme Platform for Selective Detection of Nitroaromatics Compounds
L Milburn, CJ Robidillo, R Dalangin, J Veinot
Silicon Quantum Dot-Polymer Fabry-Perot Resonators with Narrowed and Tunable Emissions
IT Cheong, W Morrish, W Sheard, H Yu, B Tavares Luppi, L Milburn, A Meldrum, JGC Veinot
– ACS Appl Mater Interfaces
The ER chaperone calnexin controls mitochondrial positioning and respiration
T Gutiérrez, H Qi, MC Yap, N Tahbaz, LA Milburn, E Lucchinetti, P-H Lou, M Zaugg, PG LaPointe, P Mercier, M Overduin, H Bischof, S Burgstaller, R Malli, K Ballanyi, J Shuai, T Simmen
– Sci Signal
Amorphous pullulan trehalose microparticle platform for respiratory delivery
NB Carrigy, M Ordoubadi, Y Liu, O Melhem, D Barona, H Wang, L Milburn, CA Ruzycki, WH Finlay, R Vehring
– International journal of pharmaceutics

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