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Personal profile

Personal Statement

I joined the University of Strathclyde in September 2021 as a Chancellor’s Fellow in the Bionanotechnology and Analytical division within the Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry. I am also a BBSRC Discovery Fellow until July 2023. My BBSRC Discovery Fellow research was previously based at Durham University from 2020 to 2021. 

I was a postdoctoral researcher for several years at both the University of Leeds (Millner Group, School of Biomedical Science) and Durham University (Pal Group, Department of Chemistry). I obtained my PhD from the University of Glasgow in 2016 (Imaging Concepts Group, School of Physics and Astronomy).

 

Research Interests

My research focuses on nanosensors for non-invasive measurement of blood and tissue oxygenation through thick and overlying tissue. The aim of my work is to improve the quality of data gleaned in biomedical studies of disease development where oxygen deficiency (hypoxia) is implicated, and to ultimately help reduce the number of laboratory model animals used in research. This will ultimately improve research efficiency and sustainability, which also reducing the cost and ethical burden of research.

My main research interest is in upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) to biophotonics and biosensing applications. UCNPs are inorganic crystalline nanoparticles that are uniquely suited to these applications because they can be excited by diffuse near infra-red light (λex = 980 nm), which leads to visible emission by a tuneable multiphoton upconversion process. They also do not photobleach or introduce autofluorescence. Red emitting UCNPs (λem ~660 nm) can be detected optically through overlying tissue >15 mm thick, making them an ideal platform for non-invasive optical biosensing through tissue.

My PhD (University of Glasgow, 2012-2016) focused on the measurement of blood oxygen levels in vivo using multispectral imaging. The shortcomings of this technique motivated my nanosensor research. My PhD research also fostered a keen interested in optical instrumentation development, which was a core theme of my various postdoctoral research positions. Most notably work at Durham University, developing instrumentation for measuring circularly polarised light emitted from chiral molecules Durham University, which was published in Nature Communications.

Outside the lab, I am keenly interested in science communication. In 2019 I published a peer-reviewed study of science podcasts which has received worldwide attention and which was covered by both Nature and Science.

Academic / Professional qualifications

Ph.D. 2016. School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow. Thesis title: 'In vivo oximetry using multispectral imaging'. Supervisor: Prof. Andy Harvey.

M.Sc. Astrophysics. 2012. School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow.

B.Sc. (Hons). Physics and Astronomy. 2011. School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow.

 

Expertise & Capabilities

Upconversion nanoparticles, nanosensors, biophotonics, blood oximetry, tissue optics, imaging, optical instrumentation, spectroscopy, chiral spectroscopy, circularly polarised luminescence (CPL), science communication and new media.

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor of Science, University of Glasgow

Master in Science, University of Glasgow

Doctor of Science, University of Glasgow

External positions

Visiting Researcher, Durham University

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