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 was principal investigator in the recent £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’s term as HoD included the build-up to and part of the period assessed by the Government-led REF 2014 review in which the Department was rated the top University Physics Department in the UK for research.

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 in molecular photophysics. After holding a lectureship appointment in the Physics Department at Manchester he moved into industry working on high-resolution organic mass spectrometry with VG Micromass Ltd.  He subsequently moved to Strathclyde and was appointed to a Chair in 1993.

David co-founded IBH Ltd, one of the first University spin-out companies in Scotland and a pioneer of fluorescence lifetime instruments. He served as company Chairman until 2003 when IBH merged with Horiba, one of the world’s largest instrumentation manufacturers.  The company now supplies the largest share of the global fluorescence spectroscopy market with David as the Director of Science and Technology of Horiba Jobin Yvon IBH Ltd.

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 since 2002 the Visiting Chair of Applied Physics at the Czech Technical University, Prague. In 2014 he was appointed to the Green Honors Visiting Chair at Texas Christian University, Fort Worth. 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 founding 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.

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.

Sebastian van de Linde joined the Group in September 2016 as a Chancellor’s Fellow. Previously  he worked at the University of Wurzburg where he worked on super-resolution microscopy and he is presently setting up a new capability in this area.

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.

Jens Sutter holds an Advanced Research Fellowship with the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance. He works in Electrophysiology and Bioimaging since 2000. After graduating from the University of Göttingen and working at Imperial College, London and the University of Glasgow, he joined the Strathclyde Photophysics Group in 2007. Based on research work bridging Biophysics, Botany and Neuroscience Jens provides expertise in developing smart solutions in fluorescence microscopy and time-resolved spectroscopy. Engineering a photo-activatable fluorescent protein and a novel ‘sandwich-label’ he was able to use fluorescence imaging to distinguish between peripheral and plasmamembrane localisation of proteins. His time-resolved fluorescence analysis on earliest steps in the formation of melanin macromolecules opens exciting opportunities in the understanding of malignant melanoma. His current work covers applications ranging from investigating intracellular traffic to fluorescence studies of molecule characteristics and assembly.

Philip Yip is a Post Doctoral Fellow, obtaining a MPhys in Biophysics in the Department and a PhD in the Photophysics Group in collaboration with NPL and Group spin-out Horiba Jobin Yvon IBH Ltd for work on super-resolution  microscopy and time-resolved fluorescence. Philip works in close collaboration with the company.


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