Keep Track of Past Group Members Here…..
Katharina “Hurricane” Meyer has joined us for an Internship from the University of Applied Science Bremen, where she is studying for a degree program in biomimetics. She used light scattering, rheological and analytical chemistry techniques in studies investigating the use of pectin as a biomaterial.
When she was not in the lab she enjoyed travelling in NZ, and bubbles;-)
Ben studied chemistry and computing at Massey and is then undertook a Masters project, in collaboration with Dr Pat Edwards working on NMR: looking at using fancy rheo-NMR techniques to orientate mysterious macro-molecules. When he isn’t thinking about how best to record residual-dipolar-couplings, he is making the BEST looking & tasty muffins!
Ben completed his masters in 2014 and has taken up a PhD position in IFS with Dr Catherine Whitby and Prof Simon Hall.
After several years of summer projects and a successful Honours project focussing on the development of a rheo-NMR cell, Chris has accepted a PhD position in IFS – again using NMR, this time taking with the challenge of carrying out measurements under high pressures. Chris is a home-grown Massey graduate and worked on this Marsden funded project with Prof Geoff Jameson and Dr Pat Edwards: Optimal chemical and physical conditions for the origin of RNA life forms, which he successfully defended this year (2014). He also has a heathly interest in tea-drinking and an (un)healthy interest in poker and card games of the magical kind…
Ian is a Massey engineering graduate who undertook a PhD position working with Prof Roger Lentle and Dr Patrick Janssen in IFNHH on a project that threw new light on transport processes occuring in the intenstine. Ian measured the viscoelastic properties of the inter-villi spaces of live intestine samples using a specially constructed cell and our microrheology set-up. He now has an engineering job in a milk-processing plant, In his spare time Ian still cheers on Utd, and perfects his Wii tennis skills.
Sandy obtained a biochemistry degree and gained her PhD from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch working on the role of actin in hyphal-tip growth in the Transmembrane protein lab.
After a three year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biophysics at the Structural Nanomechanics Lab at the Dalhousie University in Canada, she has returned to NZ to take up a postdoc position at Massey University working on a MacDiarmid and Riddet Institute Funded project: Investigating the Mesocule; working alongside Luigi, Christina, and Pablo.
In her previous work she has collaborated with both the Curie Institue in France and the FOM Institute AMOLF in the Netherlands, studying Actin Comets and developing AFM techniques for measuring their viscoelasticity.
Despite now having moved on to a job at Statistics New Zealand in the capital she is still a big fan of Manchester Utd and will always be an admirer of Bill’s most-excellent laboratory skills.
Luigi obtained an Honours degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois, before undertaking a Masters and PhD projects at the Danish technical University (DTU) in the area of Lab-on-a-Chip and Protein Nanosensors. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow based in Prof Juliet Gerrard’s Group down in Christchurch working on a MacDiarmid and Riddet Institute Funded project: Investigating the Mesocule; alongside Sandy, Christina and Pablo. Luigi also enjoys real music and likes to drink on buses. He has now obtained an academic position in Denmark;-
Marjorie undertook a PhD with Professor Kate McGrath based at Victoria University down in Wellington, and spent many a happy hour in Palmy with the Biophysics Group, using the optical tweezers to probe the interactions between emulsion drops. She graduated from North Carolina State University and has spent time both at Unilever and at Kraft. She is enjoying the NZ outdoors, carries her bike everywhere she goes, and also has a shared passion with several other members of the group for extreme-microfluidic-chip-testing.
Cameron was an honours student in our group working on the interpretation of NMR relaxation measurements in water and the influence of oxygen 17 and obtained his degree in 2013. He obtained a scholarship to undertake a PhD in the Physics Department at the University of Victoria in Wellington.
Davide was based up at Auckland in the group of Prof Laurie Melton, and was jointly supervised in IFS with Prof Geoff Jameson. He came to us from Naples, Italy where he worked on molecular interactions of prion protein with small molecules using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and carried out a Masters degree examining protein conformational changes in the presence of TFE. He obtained his PhD in November 2012, sponsored by The Riddet Institute, entitled “Macromolecular Interactions – Beta Lactoglobulin, Pectin and Pectin Methylesterase”. While with us he won a prestigous EMBO fellowship to spend some time in Cambridge where he applied state-of-the art protein modelling tools to the pectin – PME system. He also has a keen interest in football, pasta, and visiting cold countries.
He is currently working as a postdoc in the Molecular Biomechanics group in Heidelberg, and (of course!!) continues to have an interest in PMEs. Email: Davide.Mercadante@h-its.org
Philip Patty worked in the group as a part-time research assistant. He has a PhD from Simon Frazer Univeristy in Canada where he worked on liposomes, including their characterization with DLS. He did a sterling job helping to set-up and maintain our light-scattering facilities, from hardware through to coding analysis routines. After 3 years in NZ he has now returned with his family to their home , the island of Ambon in Indonesia – where he will be teaching in the local University.
Abdenor obtained a Master of Physical Chemistry qualification from Marne La Vallée University in France before graduating with a Masters Degree with honours in the Chemistry and Physicochemistry of Polymers from Jussieu University (Paris VI – France). There he studied, among other things, techniques of polymers synthesis, mechanical properties of polymers and viscoelasticity. He then turned his hand to biopolymer systems, in particular working on a PhD project involving devloping methodologies for attaching polysaccharides to beads and surfaces. He held a TIF fellowship funded by FRST in collaboration with Fonterra and sacrificed watching his beloved Olympique de Marseille for some quality New Zealand soocer courtesy of the mighty Manawatu Younghearts. In late 2011 he successfully defended his PhD thesis entitled “Physical and Chemical Attachment of Pectins to Substrates:Methods, Characterization and Application” and is currently planning a move back to France with his wife and three sons.
Erich has a Masters in Computational Physics form the University of Vienna, where he worked on efficient computational stategies in order to calculate the Lennard-Jones between extended objects, with a view to modeling liquid-crystal systems. He joined us to take up a PhD Studentship supported by CSIRO, working on approaches to calculate the properties of biopolymer networks. With a keen interest in tramping and climbing he took over the “most likley to die in the mountains” title from Romaric (as well as his car!). Erich successfully defended his thesis entitled “Hierarchical Structure Function Models of Biopolymer Networks” and has taken up a postdctoral position at SIK in Sweden where he is working on modelling diffusion in networks and FRAP measurements. Email:email@example.com
Steve joined us on a two year postdoctoral fellowship funded by the MacDiarmid Institute. Steve carried out his PhD studies in the Optical Tweezers group in Glasgow, where he worked on a variety of problems involving hydrodynamic interactions, high speed cameras and microrheology. He did much of the hard work calibrating our Optical Tweezers set-up and worked on developing several super-cool applications including single molecule stretching and microrheological measurements. His other interests include tramping, skiing, and playing the woodblocks & guitar for an Abba tribute band. In March 2011 he took up a place on a Teachers training course, and accepted a position as a physics teacher in a college in Auckland, but has been back in Palmy since 2013 when he accepted a position as a Physics Tutor in IFS, Massey.
Aurélie graduated in engineering studies from ENSBANA, a top French food engineering school belonging to the chapter of french Grandes Ecoles in Dijon. She has extensive practical experience working with biopolymers, in particular producing gel beads via an emulsion route for use in encapsulation. She obtained her PhD focussing on structure-function understanding in pectin-milk systems, funded by a FRST TIF fellowship in collaboration with Fonterra, entitled “Investigation of the behaviour of pectin in casein micelle systems and their analogues“. She now has a full-time research position in Fonterra and is also continuing to research tramping, night-time bush navigation, beachcombing, goldfish management, factor 100 suncreens…oh and milk. Email: Aurelie.Cucheval@fontera.com
Van Cam Hoang
Van came to NZ from Vietnam where she received a Bachelors Degree in Biology from Hanoi University of Science. She obtained her PhD entitled “Effect of Parasitism on Gastric Mucins in Sheep ” with Professor Heather Simpson in IVABS. She utilisised and further developed the range of analytical mono, oligo and poly-saccharide analysis available in the Biomaterials group, in particular to target a better understanding of mucin structure and biological function. She has now moved to Canada with her husband and after having a child, Andy, has now taken up a position with Dr. Urban Emmenegger at Sunnybrook Research Institute “Studying autophagy as a complimentary therapeutic target in antivascular tumour therapy”. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Naser undertook his PhD working on the use of actuated microcantilevers for the measurement of fluid properties at the IMS Laboratory, at the University of Bordeaux, France, where his research interests were in microrheology and MEMS technology. He also has a Masters degree in laser, materials and nanoscience engineering and moved to NZ for a one year postdoctoral fellowship, supported by the Marsden fund, working on extending our polymer stretching work, by developing an improved automated methodology with the AFM. He made great strides in a limited time leaving the group with a laptop based AFM control system and analysis software. He has now moved back to Europe and has a position at IMEC in Leuven, Belgium where he is working on understanding drying at wetting at the nanoscale. Email: email@example.com
Padmesh has a chemistry degree from Kannur University in India and an MSc in Physical Chemistry. He successfully carried out a six-month project working in the area of Statistical Mechanics of Polymers, in the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and moved to New Zealand to take up a PhD Studentship in our group, supported by the Marsden Fund. Padmesh worked on calculating and simulating the mechanical behaviour of single biopolymer chains, using a variety of tools from DFT calculations on oligomers to Brownian Dynamics Simulations on larger chains. He submitted his thesis entitled “Computational Approaches to the Calculation of Spectroscopic, Structural and Mechanical Properties of Polysaccharide Chains” and has now moved to Germany to take up a postdoctoral position in the Theretical Chemistry Group at Bochum in Gemany. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Medhat originates from Eygpt and came to NZ to study for his PhD with Associate Professor Dave Harding. He worked with the biophysics group developing Capillary Electrophoresis methodologies for the study of biopolymers, in particular proteins; and was the group expert in separation techniques. He completed his PhD, entitled “Downstream Purification and Analysis of the Recombinant Human Myelin Basic Protein Produced in the Milk of Transgenic Cows” and has now returned to Cairo to a position in the Analytical Chemistry, where he is, among other things continuing to pursue his interest in CE. Email: Medhat.email@example.com
Romaric is a materials scientist by training, hailing from St-Etienne in France. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and a Masters of Mechanics from ENSMA Poitiers (Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique et d’Aérotechnique). He carried out his PhD work in the group on a project focussed on developing microrheological methodologies for studying the soft materials, writing a thesis entitled “Microrheological Investigations of Biopolymer Networks“. He was funded by The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology and also found time, in between becoming obsessed with pectin and the pollen tube (!), to enjoy soft materials of the snowy kind. Romaric then undertook a postdoc in the Soft Condensed Matter Physics Group in Fribourg, where he published his Hot Article on Peanut Butter Metallurgy. He has now taken up a second postdoc position in Barcelona where he is looking at cells as colloidal glasses Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and check him out on his dodgy blog http://frenchiiiiie.blogspot.com/
Motoko Kakubayashi studied physics at Massey for three years before embarking on a Masters programme in our group. She worked on rheo-NMR with Dr Pat Edwards, Robin Dykstra and Magritek. We were interested in using NMR as a probe of molecular behaviour in soft-matter systems while they were exposed to controlled shear conditions. Motoko obtained some interesting results that we published in Biophysical Journal, developing a cool method for following the enzymatic processing of pectin by NMR. Her Masters Thesis was entitled “Rheo-NMR Studies of Macromolecules“. She then moved down to Wellington to purse a career in science journalism, and now has a position at the Science Media Centre in Tokoyo. Check out some of her stories!! http://sciblogs.co.nz/kagaku/tag/technology/ Email: email@example.com
Aaron is a native Kiwi and took his first degree and masters in Engineering at Massey, specialising in electrochemistry. Subsequently he graduated with a PhD from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway. He has wide interests in materials technology, particularly understanding surface reactions and processes at the atomic level and has a wide range of skills in materials characterisation methods. He has previously developed novel AFM based techniques and spent a successful year working with us on single polysaccharide molecule stretching. Aaron subsequently won a prestigous New Zealand Postdoctoral Fellowship and, failing a successful audition with Audioslave, worked on catalysts for hydrogen production from water. He has now taken up a position down at the University of Canturbury. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonathan Hunt studied physics at Massey and after three years extended his stay in our group in order to continue working on the computer simulations of polysaccharide fine structure, that he began over the summer, for his Honours project. His Honours report was entitled “Polysaccharide sequence reconstruction from digest patterns” Extensively fuelled by peanut butter Jonny obtained a first class honours in Physics, and his Honours project work on simulating the action of polysaccharide degrading enzymes was published in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. Jonny was lured away to the bright lights of Queensland to undertake a PhD in modelling studies of the visual cortex, but occasionally comes back to sit in a hammock, survey the NZ sky and try to disprove Bill’s latest idea! Jonnys PageEmail: email@example.com. Having successfully defended his PhD he has now taken up a position in San Diego with The Brain Corporation working on “making computers more like brains”…..like his preseumably, not mine….