Photo of Dr Raphael Levy

Dr Raphael Levy

Professor (Honorary) Biochemistry & Systems Biology


Personal Statement

I recently moved from the University of Liverpool where I had been a post-doc, research fellow, lecturer and senior lecturer (2002-2020) ; see short CV below.

I am now a professor of physics at Université Sorbonne Paris Nord and an honorary professor at the University of Liverpool.

My research focuses on nanoparticles, their structure, and applications, in particular for biological imaging, from single molecule/particle to tracking of cells in preclinical models. My field of research is an exciting one with a lot of potential (which we and others are trying to tap) but also a tendency to extraordinary exaggeration of results findings which has led me to think a lot about the practice of science and how we can improve the robustness of the scientific record. That thinking has been particularly stimulated by two controversies that largely center around the (unproven in my view) ability of nanoparticles to reach the cytosol of cells. The first controversy challenges the evidence for the existence and properties of stripy nanoparticles whilst the second (ongoing) relates to the intracellular access of spherical nucleic acids and their claimed ability to detect or block mRNAs. Eventually that concern about the mechanisms of correction of science became a scholarly pursuit in its own right : in October 2020, together with colleagues from computing and human sciences, we obtained the ERC Synergy grant NanoBubbles : *How, when and why does science fail to correct itself?*

Short CV: I obtained my PhD in physics at the University Louis Pasteur (France) working on polymer adsorption with the Atomic Force Microscope (2002). I moved to Liverpool for a post-doctoral fellowship with Dave Fernig and Mathias Brust where we designed peptides as capping agents for gold nanoparticles. In 2006, I obtained a BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship to develop nanoparticle-based imaging in living cells. The Fellowhship ended in 2011 and I am now a Senior Lecturer at the University of Liverpool. My teaching includes some lectures in Quantitative Biology I, i.e. basic mathematics for first year Biology students, and some teaching in Life301, Advanced Skills in Biochemistry.

Funded Fellowships

  • BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), 2006)

Other Personal Distinctions

  • UK-Israel Nanoscience Lectureship (British Council, 2015)
  • European School on Nanosciences & Nanotechnologies Lecturer (ESONN, 2014)