David Birch is Professor of Photophysics and Head of Biomolecular and Chemical Physics and the Photophysics Group. His present research interests include fluorescence studies of molecular dynamics and structure down to the single molecule level, nanoparticle metrology, fibril formation and metabolic sensing. He is co-founder of the University’s Centre for Molecular Nanometrology and Femtosecond Research Centre (FRC) and has published over 200 journal papers, mainly on photophysics and fluorescence lifetimes. He is principal investigator in the £5M EPSRC Science and Innovation award “Nanometrology for Molecular Science, Medicine and Manufacture.”
David was appointed Head of Department in 2004, serving two terms until stepping down in 2010 having led the Department into surplus with the strongest budgetary position in the Faculty of Science. During this period David represented the University on the Executive Committee of the The Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA) from SUPA’s inception and played a key role in helping to attract £48m second round SFC funding to SUPA.
David spent his childhood in the Lancashire village of Burscough and then went on to study physics at the Schuster Laboratories of the University of Manchester where he obtained his PhD for research in molecular photophysics. After holding a Temporary Lectureship at Manchester he moved into industry working on high-resolution organic mass spectrometry with VG Micromass Ltd. He subsequently moved to Strathclyde as a lecturer and was appointed to a Chair in 1993.
He is also the Director of Science and Technology of Horiba Jobin Yvon IBH Ltd. David co-founded IBH Ltd, one of the first physics spin-off companies in Scotland. From its Glasgow manufacturing base the company has grown to be an international leader in fluorescence lifetime systems. In 2003 IBH joined the Horiba Group, one of the world’s largest scientific instrument manufacturers.
Other external appointments include in 1999 the Sir C V Raman Endowment Visiting Chair at the University of Madras, in 2000 a Visiting Professorship at Kyoto Institute of Technology and, from 2002, the Visiting Chair of Applied Physics at the Czech Technical University, Prague. Previously he has held research fellowships from the Royal Society, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Nuffield Foundation and the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
In 2010 David was appointed European Editor of the Institute of Physics journal Measurement Science and Technology and in 2012 appointed as its Editor in Chief. Also in 2012 David was appointed joint Editor-in-Chief of the new Institute of Physics journal Methods and Applications in Fluorescence. He has served on the Editorial Board of SPIE’s Journal of Biomedical Optics since its launch in 1995.
Olaf Rolinski is a senior lecturer in the Photophyhsics Group. His main research goal is developing new fluorescence sensors based on nanometre distance-dependent molecular interactions. He has specialised in fluorescence lifetime based sensing, particularly fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) sensors for structural, metal ion and metabolite detection. He developed the method to determine the donor-acceptor distribution functions from FRET experiment data. He is involved in structural studies of phospholipid assemblies, sol-gels and porous polymers. His biomedical research interests include: analyte-induced conformational changes of proteins monitored by fluorescence and specially designed FRET systems.
Olaf Rolinski obtained his Masters degree in Experimental Physics and PhD in Physics (1993) from the Nicolas Copernicus University in Torun, Poland. He joined the Photophysics Group at Strathclyde in 1994 as an EPSRC research fellow, continued as the Wellcome Trust research fellow and became a lecturer in 2001. He has published over 30 research papers and is often invited to give lectures on fluorescence sensing at international conferences. Olaf leads the Group’s research on beta-amyloid aggregation and its relevance to Alzheimer’s disease.
Yu Chen graduated from Lanzhou University and obtained her MSc from Lanzhou Institute of Physics.She worked in Lanzhou Institute of Physics and then Beijing Institute of Microelectronics in the areas of surface science and electronic devices. She joined the Cavendish Laboratory in 1995 as a visiting scientist working on C60-based materials after winning a one year scholarship. She received her PhD in 2000 from University of Birmingham for her work on low energy electron excitation on surfaces. Afterwards, she worked in Nanoscale Physics Research Laboratory in Birmingham University as a research fellow then a principal research scientist. Dr. Yu Chen joined the department from April 2007 taking a Lectureship in Molecular Nanometrology. Yu leads the Group’s research on nanoclusters, nanoparticles, nanostructured surfaces, optical and electron spectroscopies and microscopies, self-assembly, nanofabrications and nanodevices.