Category: Research Staff

Joshua Rasera, Research Assistant, Department of Earth Science and Engineering

“I love being surrounded by friendly, bright and talented researchers, and thankful that working at Imperial allows me to live my dream of being a part of the space sector.”

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to work in the space sector. As I was nearing the end of school, I decided to go into mechanical engineering with the goal of leveraging this education to a space career.

I completed my undergraduate and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering at the University of Waterloo in Canada, with a specialisation in heat transfer and metallurgy for automotive applications (i.e, not space). Following this, I worked as a process engineer at a hearing aid manufacturing company, Unitron Global, where I developed manufacturing methods and standards for custom hearing aids (again, not space). (more…)

Dr Julianne Viola, Research Associate, Centre for Higher Education Research and Scholarship

“My research focuses on understanding Imperial students’ sense of belonging, and how that influences their contributions to and participation in social and political life inside and outside of the College.”

My experience as an educator and mentor for secondary school students in the United States inspired me to pursue research that empowers young people.

I realised that my true passion is to conduct and disseminate the research that influences policy and social attitudes. I am most interested in how young people develop and express their own opinions and effect social change, and I completed my doctorate at the University of Oxford earlier this year, before joining Imperial in April. (more…)

Dr Aleisha Miller, Clinical Project Manager, Department of Infectious Disease

“My job can range from dealing with a temperature change in a pharmacy fridge, to simply offering a listening ear to my team during challenging times.”

Celebrating our community for Black History Month

I started my career as a scientific researcher in reproductive immunology, obtaining degrees from The Royal Veterinary College, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Liverpool University.

Looking back, I feel like I stumbled into the world of clinical trials by accident when I applied and successfully got the position as a study monitor at Queen Mary University of London. I started my career at Imperial in 2013, where I was appointed as a Trial Manager at the Imperial Clinical Trials Unit overseeing their HIV portfolio, which was fairly new at the time. You could say that I worked my way up to my current role as a Clinical Project Manager at Imperial. (more…)

Dr Ana Luisa Neves, Research Fellow in Clinical Analytics and Patient Safety, Institute of Global Health Innovation

“I have co-founded a startup to improve maternal health in low-income countries, which has been internationally recognised – an old dream inspired by my experiences as a volunteer GP in low-income countries.”

 I was born and raised in Portugal, where I qualified in Medicine and obtained my MSc from the University of Porto. After undertaking academic and research placements at the Harvard Medical School affiliate Cambridge Health Alliance in Boston, and at the Institut National de la Santé et Recherche Médicale in Paris, I decided to build a career in research and academia. My goal was to bring together my clinical and research experience to deliver safe and more patient-centred care. (more…)

Dr Yoyo Dixon, Senior Laboratory Manager, Department of Surgery & Cancer

“I currently lead a small team to ensure the effective deployment of laboratory resources and services across the division and our many different work sites and locations.”

I joined Imperial in 2008 as a Research Associate in the Institute of Clinical Sciences. Towards the end of postdoc contract, an opportunity for laboratory management came up, and I was offered the role and joined the Department of Surgery and Cancer in 2010. My role was based in quite a complex building, Cyclotron, which has now been demolished and is being re-built. There were numerous infrastructure problems with power supply, water and general building services. However, under minimal supervision and relatively little experience, I have successfully kept things running within the building to allow researchers to continue their work with minimal disruption.


Dr Dimitra Gialama, Research Associate, Department of Chemical Engineering

“I have coached younger scientists and organised STEM outreach activities for several years. Recently, I initiated a collaboration with the University of the Arts London, teaching art students basic scientific principles”.

I finished my MRes in Biochemical Research at Imperial and I was happy to return in August 2018 to work as a Research Associate at the Department of Chemical Engineering. Previously, I completed my diploma in chemical engineering and my PhD in microbial biotechnology at the National Technical University of Athens in Greece. During my career journey I have worked on diverse bioscience-related research topics and to complement my research, I have coached younger scientists and organised STEM outreach activities for several years. Recently, I initiated a collaboration with the University of the Arts, teaching art students basic scientific principles.

Currently, I am leading an innovative project around the characterization of host-construct interactions in mammalian cells in order to advance Bioprocessing with Synthetic Biology. This means that the aim is to understand cell-target protein (product) interactions to increase the target protein yield in mammalian cells using synthetic biology tools. Mammalian cells are important production vehicles for the pharmaceutical industry. What I mostly enjoy about this role is applying my knowledge and expertise to lead lab and project set-up, deliver exciting initial results, all the while bringing new approaches to the project. Working in a new lab, in a new project makes the output of my work very satisfying and rewarding for me.

As a junior member of staff at Imperial, apart from the extremely interesting research and the lovely friendly atmosphere, I appreciate the College’s policy to respect and support the personal development of the staff. The Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre offers the option to attend influential seminars and workshops on interesting topics. I believe these personal development opportunities at Imperial have contributed to my development as a well-rounded scientist and have helped me to identify and pursue new opportunities for my future.

Dr Piers Gaffney, Research Associate, Department of Chemical Engineering

“The opportunity to work at Imperial has attracted some of the best young talents in the world to our team – they are the very bedrock on which our achievements are built.”

I received my BSc from Imperial in the 1980s, but then undertook a Master’s at Durham studying pyrophoric boranes, before returning to London and King’s College London to obtain my PhD in organic chemistry. Here I studied the synthesis of signalling phospholipids, and this became the key to my current position with Professor Livingston in the Department of Chemical Engineering. (more…)

Dr Arnau Garriga Casanovas, Research Assistant, Department of Mechanical Engineering

“I really like being at Imperial. The best part is working alongside some of the most capable people in the world, who inspire me and make it truly enjoyable to work here.”

I came to Imperial in 2014 to do an engineering doctorate. My PhD project involved the research and development of a snake-robot to perform inspections of jet engines while the engine is on-wing, and was sponsored by Rolls-Royce. It was a really interesting project, where I conducted research on different types of miniature snake-robots – mostly concentric tube robots and soft robots. (more…)

Dr Yonghua Yin, Research Associate, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

I work as a Research Associate in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Imperial. I received the President’s PhD Scholarship in 2014 and completed my PhD in electrical engineering at Imperial last year. Before this, I completed my undergraduate and Master’s in engineering at Sun Yat-sen University in China. (more…)

Dr May Sule, Research Associate, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

I was born and raised in Nigeria, where I studied Chemical Engineering at undergraduate level at the University of Lagos, and then worked in the water sector. I moved to the UK in 2007 for my MSc at Newcastle University and two years later, started my PhD in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial. My focus was investigating the removal of contaminants from water using a pervaporative membrane filtration process. (more…)