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Dr Michael Thomas
London Centre for Nanotechnology
Gordon Street
Dr Michael Thomas profile picture
  • Lecturer in Bionanotechnology and Biochemical Engineering
  • London Centre for Nanotechnology
  • Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Michael is a Lecturer in Bionanotechnology & Biochemical Engineering. He is a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), member of the BIA Leadership Programme (2019- to date), and co-lead of the UCL Soft Matter Network (2022- to date). Michael joined UCL in 2019. Prior to this he was a PDRA at Imperial College London (2013-2019). Academic qualifications include an MSci in Chemistry from the University of Bristol (2005-2009) and a PhD in Physics from the University of Bristol (2009-2013).

Research Summary

Michael’s main area of research is in the area of lateral-flow biosensor technology development. Working at the interface of his two home Departments (the London Centre for Nanotechnology where his labs are based, and the Department of Biochemical Engineering) he brings advanced engineering principles, nanomaterial synthesis expertise and spectroscopic (using absorbance and Raman/Surface Enhanced Raman modalities) techniques to increase the sensitivity of low-cost paper based diagnostic technologies. These technologies are then directed at both infectious disease detection with links to the i-sense: EPSRC IRC in Agile Early Warning Sensing Systems for Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Resistance, and to the development of small-scale/low-cost platform analytical tools for bioprocess monitoring. Current collaborators include Dr. Stefanie Frank for studies on nanobody presentation at metallic nanostructures and cell-free protein synthesis for biosensing (UCL Biochemical Engineering), Dr. Stephen Goldrick (UCL Biochemical Engineering) & Dr. Mads Bergholt (Kings College London) for Raman spectroscopy and surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy for bioprocess monitoring and lateral flow assay development, Prof. Vijay Chudasama (UCL Chemistry) for orthogonal antibody conjugation for biosensor development, Prof Rachel McKendry (UCL LCN/Division of Medicine) for ultrasensitive nanoparticles for biosensing. 

Teaching Summary

Michael's teaching activities contribute to the various undergraduate and postgraduate IChemE accredited degree programmes operated by the department. He contributes lectures to Biochemistry of Protein Production for Biochemical Engineers (Year 2), Synthetic Biology (MRes), supports Biomolecular & Cellular Analysis (EngD), co-leads Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (Year 1) and module-leads the research projects portfolio of the Department for Bioprocess Research Project (Year 3/4, MSc), Synthetic Biology Research Project (MRes), and supports the operation of the Advanced Therapy Research Project (MSc). 

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