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Postdoctoral Researchers

CBNI postdoctoral researchers come from a diverse range of scientific backgrounds and funding bodies including (opens in a new window)Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)(opens in a new window)Irish Research Council (IRC) and the (opens in a new window)Celtic Advanced Life Science Innovation Network (CALIN), that reflects our multidisciplinary approach to research. 

Read more about our talented postdoctoral researchers below. 

From September 2023, Ester is an EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow. Her postdoctoral research at CBNI focuses on the multidisciplinary study of advanced nanoparticle-cell interactions.

Ester graduated in Italy from the University of Genoa with a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry and Chemical Technologies in 2014 and a Master's degree in Chemical Sciences in 2016. During her undergraduate studies she dealt with the investigation of physicochemical aspects related to nanoparticle synthesis and characterisation. In 2017, she started her PhD in Chemical Sciences and Technologies at the University of Genoa. She was awarded her doctoral title in 2021 with a biophysical thesis focused on the study of nanoparticle interactions with model cell membranes. During her PhD, Ester was affiliated with the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Genoa and undertook a research internship at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland). After a first postdoc at the Department of Physics of the University of Genoa, she joined CBNI in September 2022 as a 2022 Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Awardee.

Leonard joined CBNI in April 2024 where he is investigating the role of bacterial extracellular vesicles in disease.

Leonard graduated from University College Dublin with a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology in 2010 and a Master’s degree in Biotechnology in 2011. In October 2014 he obtained his PhD from University College Dublin focusing on the control of Campylobacter in the Irish food chain. Following graduation, he moved to Malawi to conduct a study investigating the transmission pathways of non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) before moving back to Dublin to continue his research on Campylobacter. His work before joining CBNI investigated the pathogenesis of Klebsiella pneumoniaefrom a One Health paradigm.

Yuchen joined CBNI in November 2020 as a postdoctoral fellow. His work is focused on the construction of advanced bio-nanostructures for biomedical applications based on the understanding of complex bio-nano interactions.

Yuchen graduated from Peking University in China with a BSc in chemistry in 2012. In 2014 he began a joint programme at both the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (NCNST), China and University of Copenhagen, Denmark. As part of that programme, in 2017 Yuchen obtained an MSc in nanoscience from University of Copenhagen. He then continued his PhD studies at NCNST and was awarded a PhD in 2020, with a thesis entitled "Phase separation of the complex of peptide and metal clusters”.

Fiona joined CBNI in February 2024 to work as a Research Scientist on the SFI funded, Bio-inspired particle architecture delivery technologies (Bio-PADT) project. Her work is focused on the isolation of extracellular vesicles. Fiona did her PhD with Professor David Brayden in the School of Veterinary Medicine, UCD. She has previously worked on projects investigating intestinal permeation enhancers and nanoparticles for the oral delivery peptides and also the anti-inflammatory properties of seaweed.

(opens in a new window)UCD Research Profile

Alessandro is a 2023 CALIN Post-doctoral Research Fellow. His postdoctoral research at CBNI focuses on the multidisciplinary study of the synthesis and characterisation of complex bionanoparticles, and their interaction in a biological environment.

Alessandro graduated in Italy from the Polytechnic University of Marche (UNIVPM), Ancona with a Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences in 2014 and a Master's degree in Molecular and Applied Biology in 2017. During his undergraduate studies he focused on eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A (eIF5A) hypusination and its biomolecular interactions in human cancer and leukaemia. Afterwards, he attended for one year the Laboratories of the Neurosciences and Cell Biology in UNIVPM performing functional studies with extracellular vesicles from both healthy and tumor cells. In October 2022 Alessandro obtained his Ph.D. title in Biomedical Sciences from the Polytechnic University of Marche. His Ph.D. research project was focused on the inhibition of eIF5A hypusination and the effect of the Raf-1 kinase inhibitor protein (RKIP) within both benign and malign tumors. He spent a period of study at Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), in University of Minho, Braga, Portugal within his Ph.D. internship. Alessandro joined CBNI in January 2023.

Wei joined CBNI in September 2017. Her PhD research is focused on the synthesis and characterization of complex nanostructures and investigation of their biological interactions using multi-omics and sequencing methods. After graduation Wei continued her research in CBNI as a postdoc fellow from 2022.

Wei graduated from Xiamen University (China) with a B.Sc. in Chemistry in 2015. Following graduation, she joined Professor Yan Bing’s group where her research focused on the effects of nanoparticle core composition on their cellular interactions.

Zixu joined CBNI in September 2022 as a postdoctoral researcher. Her work is focused on understanding complex interactions between nanostructures and living systems. Zixu graduated from Queen Mary, University of London with a BSc in chemistry in 2013. She came to University College Dublin (UCD) to pursue her studies further and was awarded an MSc by research on photophysical properties of one-dimensional conjugated polymer nanostructures in 2015. She continued her postgraduate studies at UCD and was awarded a PhD on "optical characterisation of conjugated polymer nanoparticles using confocal fluorescence detection methods" in 2021.

Centre for BioNano Interactions (CBNI)

School of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, University College Dublin (UCD), Belfield, Dublin 4, D04 N2E5, Ireland.
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