Open Innovation Hub team

The Open Innovation Hub team is made up of experts with a range of backgrounds in life and physical sciences.

Prof Rasmita Raval

Prof. R. Raval


Director, Open Innovation Hub for Antimicrobial Surfaces

Director, The Surface Science Research Centre

Co-director, National Biofilm Innovation Centre (NBIC)

raval@liverpool.ac.uk


Rasmita Raval is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry. Her research includes rational design of functional surfaces, molecular nanoscience and bio-interfaces. Her multidisciplinary research combines protocols for ‘bottom-up’ assembly of functional nano-architectures and concurrent development and utilisation of powerful scientific techniques to probe these systems at the single- molecule and single-cell level. This experimental effort is combined with modelling to yield detailed insights into molecular and biological responses and behavior at surfaces.

She has strong experience in engaging with the private sector by promoting active academic-industry R&D collaboration programmes. Raval is the director of the Open Innovation Hub for Antimicrobial Surfaces (OPIHAS), leading a dedicated and expert team to translate frontier research into antimicrobial technology platforms. She is also Co-director of the UK National Biofilm Innovation Centre (NBIC), the £26M initiative funded by BBSRC and Innovate UK, that has boosted the innovation activities of Liverpool’s OPIHAS.

 


Haitham Alabiad

Haitham Alabiad

Postgraduate Researcher

Haitham Alabiad is a first year PhD student in the Open Innovation Hub working in collaboration with Unilever. His BSc project focused on the computational study of reaction mechanisms and generating 3D animations of the reactions. His masters focused on predictive models using quantitative structure activity relationships (QSAR) for anti-Wolbacchia therapy. Haitham’s PhD program focuses on advanced anti-biofilm surface coatings probed by spatially resolved Imaging and microbiology techniques, including scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) and Raman spectroscopy.


Ross Mulhall

Ross Mulhall

Postgraduate Researcher

Ross Mulhall obtained his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences and Translational Medicine at the University of Liverpool, where he focused on the structural investigation of calmodulin using nuclear magnetic resonance. His PhD programme is focused on assessing the Impact on microbes of chemically engineered surface modifications with respect to attachment, survival and the development of resistance at the cellular level.


Marta Alemanno

Marta Alemanno 

Postgraduate Researcher

Marta Alemanno obtained her BSc degree in Medical Biotechnology at the University of Milan and her MSc degree in Medical Biotechnology (curriculum Bio-nanotechnology) from the University of Trieste (Italy) in collaboration with the University of Strathclyde (UK). Her studies focused on theoretical and practical approaches for biotechnology and nanotechnology applied to medical research, diagnosis and therapies, with a particular interest in the application of Raman spectroscopy and surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). During her bachelor's final project, Marta investigated the effect of a mutated form of BK Virus on viral replication and, during her master's, she focused on the synthesis, characterization and in vitro analysis of SERS nanoprobes for the detection of cardiovascular disease biomarkers. Her PhD research is focused on spectroscopic analysis and high-resolution imaging of bacterial cell interaction at surfaces.


Amy Foo Guest

Postgraduate Researcher

Amy Foo Guest obtained both her bachelor’s degree in chemistry and master’s degree in advanced chemical sciences at the University of Liverpool. Her bachelor’s project involved synthesising a nano-nose using nanoparticles. Her master’s project focussed on developing a photosensitiser conjugate to be used in photodynamic therapy for cancer treatment. Amy’s PhD programme is in collaboration with Unilever, and will focus on biofilms with regards to oral health.


Kyle Phillips

Postgraduate Researcher

Kyle Phillips completed his BSc degree in chemistry and MSc degree in advanced chemical sciences at the University of Liverpool. His MSc project focused on the stability of micelles in sustainable formulations and was conducted in collaboration with Unilever. He is now a first year PhD student working in the Open Innovation Hub doing research into producing and characterising antimicrobial and biomimetic surface coatings. He is also working towards an associated fellowship of the higher education academy (AFHEA), so he is better able to support teaching and learning in higher education. 


Matthew Oakes

Postgraduate Researcher

Matthew completed his integrated master’s degree in chemistry (MCHEM) at the University of Liverpool. Both his 3rd year and MCHEM research projects involved the synthesis of silica encapsulated gold nanoparticles for antimicrobial and anticancer applications. During the summer between the 3rd and 4th year of his degree, Matthew completed a summer research project in the Materials Innovation Factory involving the high throughput synthesis of both current and next generation porous organic cages. Matthew is now a first year PhD student in the Open Innovation Hub for Antimicrobial Surfaces focussing on the synthesis and characterisation of functional and antimicrobial surfaces.


Tsz Ying To (Teresa)

Postgraduate Researcher

Teresa obtained her MChem degree in Chemistry with Medicinal Science at University of Southampton (UK). Her previous studies involved organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry and pharmacology, with a particular interest in the application of small molecules in biological and medical applications. Her Bachelors project involves total synthesis of quinones from cyclobutenediones by thermolysis (flow chemistry). During her Masters placement at University of Sydney in Australia, she focused on Beta-cyclodextrin complexation with anion transporters and anion transport studies for potential Cystic Fibrosis treatment. Her PhD research interests are organic synthesis, peptide synthesis and their applications to target biofilms on surfaces as potential antimicrobials.


Peng Bao

Postgraduate Researcher

Dr. Peng has a multidisciplinary research background. After his Ph.D. study in experimental Condensed Matter Physics, he has worked in the field of Semiconductor Physics for three years, (including the nano-fabrication, characterization, and modeling of thin-film transistors / planar nano-devices), in the field of microwave device engineering for three years (including the fabrication/characterization of tuneable microwave devices), and in the field of biophysics for ten years (including the electrophoresis of membrane proteins, LC crystal droplet biosensors, and microfluidics).
His current research interests include biosensors, lipid membranes, synthetic cells, drug screens, microfluidics, and antimicrobial surfaces.


James Lawrence

Postgraduate Researcher

James studied for both his undergraduate degree & PhD in Chemistry at the University of Warwick. Following this, he held a post-doctoral position at Donostia International Physics Center, Spain for 2 years. His research is mostly in on-surface chemistry, electronic properties of molecules and nanostructures, and molecular self-assembly. He is particularly specialised in the use of low-temperature scanning probe microscopy & spectroscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and other UHV surface science techniques.


Xinyi Zhu

Postdoctoral Science Innovator

Dr Xinyi Zhu has research experience on smart materials, peptide-based hydrogel/thin films for biomedical application. She has recently gained her PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Manchester. Her research project focused on preparation of copolymer, synthesising peptide with polymer via click chemistry for developing hydrogel/thin film with relatively high mechanical property. She also has involved in characterisation of chemistry, (i.e. NMR, MALDI-ToF, and HPLC) and characterisation of biomaterials. Within the Open Innovation Hub, Xinyi will develop antimicrobial stimuli-responsive surfaces.