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Principal Investigator: Dr. Aoife Gowen

Dr. Gowen's research area is multidisciplinary, involving applications of sensor technology and chemometrics to biological systems, with particular focus on hyperspectral imaging techniques (NIR, IR and Raman). After completing her undergraduate degree in Theoretical Physics (2000), she moved to a new discipline - the highly applied research area of Food Science. Her PhD thesis, completed in 2006, concerned mathematical modeling of food quality parameters and optimization of food process operations. During her time as a post-doctoral researcher (2007-2013) she investigated the intersection of near infrared spectroscopy, chemical imaging and chemometrics for characterization of biological systems. 

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Post Doctoral Researcher: Dr. Jose A Martinez-Gonzalez

Jose obtained his degree in Chemistry from University of La Rioja in 2006. He completed his PhD at the same university in 2013, with a study of the reaction mechanism and kinetics of hepatitis C virus NS3/NS4A protease.  In this study he applied several theoretical approaches to simulate the enzymatic reaction mechanism. From January 2014 to January 2015, Jose was working in the soft matter field, focusing on the amorphization of silica family derivatives and electronic characterization of these materials at the University Autónoma de Barcelona under Dr A Rimola supervision. In September 2015, he joined Dr Gowen’s Group, under the mentorship of Dr N English, to study and characterize the interface between soft mater, water and biomolecules using the molecular dynamics simulations. 

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Researcher: Sindhuraj Mukherjee

Sindhuraj is currently a Doctoral candidate in the interdisciplinary field of chemical imaging, its application in polymers & biomaterials, at University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland. He has a Masters in Biotechnology and is working in the BioWater project at UCD under the guidance of Dr. Aoife Gowen, and has an interest in the diverse possibilities of chemical imaging & associated sensing technologies. Outside the lab, he enjoys going to gigs, playing music, travelling, developing culinary skills as well as the occasional game of badminton & basketball. 

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Researcher: Ronan Dorrepaal

Ronan joined the BioWater team as a Doctoral candidate in May 2015. His research is in the development of biocompatible cements to aid in the regeneration of damaged bone tissue. Ronan’s research also focuses on the analysis of the cements, and their interaction with water, using hyperspectral imaging and machine learning techniques. Ronan holds a BA(Mod) in Medicinal Chemistry from Trinity College Dublin, an MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering from the University of Birmingham and has several years’ experience working in patent law and the legal protection of technical inventions."

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 ‌  Visiting researcher: Vicky Caponigro

Vicky is a visiting student from “La Sapienza” University of Rome, Italy. She is currently undertaking an internship for 6 months as part of a “Torno Subito” scholarship for her master thesis. Her project is concerned with different kinds of hydrogels. She studies structural changes over time and at different synthesis conditions and also the role of water in these changes. She conducts her research using NIR hyperspectral imaging, FT-IR spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy. She graduated with a bachelor degree in Chemistry from “La Sapienza”. Her bachelor thesis dealt with the optimisation of the extraction and analysis of the components of saffron using HPLC. Currently, she is a master student in the “Chemistry of biological systems” in “La Sapienza”.

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