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Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology


Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr Dushanth Seevaratnam is a postdoctoral researcher after completing his PhD in 2020 in CAB lab too. With a background in nanotechnology engineering, his research experience ranges from material analysis for airplane landing gears to polymer synthesis for targeted chemotherapy. His current research interests include low-cost diagnostics, protein engineering, molecular biology and device design/fabrication. He is also part of AfriDx and team Safe Air For Everyone (SAFE), that aims at tackling the global issue of air pollution.


Dr Francis Krampa is a postdoctoral researcher at the CAB lab whose research focuses on engineering single chain variable fragments (scFv) and other biological reagents for integration into diagnostic platforms in resource-limited settings. He completed his PhD in 2020 at the University of Ghana and his expertise covers assay development, synthetic/molecular biology and immunosensors. He is currently working to enable/improve local production of paper-based diagnostic tests in Ghana through focused research and knowledge transfer.


PhD Students

John “E.J.” McCarthy is a final year PhD student, developing an enzyme-linked electrochemical biosensor system to detect urine-based biomarkers for prostate cancer. His research interests include bioengineering, electrochemistry, biochemical and electrochemical modeling, complex matrix analysis, and Pharmacoeconomics. Outside the lab, EJ enjoys spending time on the water as a member of the Cambridge University Boat Club, and working on his startup company, Cambridge BioNexus, which is looking to develop a Bloomberg for Biotech.


Madhuri Manohar is a final year PhD student, whose research focuses on engineering single chain antibodies (scFvs) and its potential in diagnostics for bedside clinical applications in the neonatal ICU. After her Master's degree at Johns Hopkins University, she worked as an bioanalytical scientist at Hopkins developing LC-MS/MS assays to support HIV pharmacokinetic clinical trials. With a keen interest for science communication, she is also the content development director for Global Biotech Revolution, and is pursuing a certification in medical writing from UC San Diego.

Anna Bird is a final year PhD student, investigating low-cost synthesis of nucleotide reagents for diagnostics applications. Her undergraduate research in Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University focused on low-cost paper diagnostics for detection of MERS-CoV. She is passionate about global health, increasing accessibility to healthcare through academic research, policy reform, and open access science. She collaborates closely with Open Bioeconomy Lab to understand the constraints of working in low resource settings and channels this knowledge for her research.


Chenfeng Gao is a third year PhD student. He received his MRes Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cambridge and his bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering and Technology from Tongji University, Shanghai. He is currently developing sensors for phosphates in the biological processes by advantage material, including metal-organic frameworks (MOFs).




Adam Roberts is a second year PhD student. With a background in biochemistry, his research interests include protein engineering and directed evolution. He is currently working on engineering reverse transcriptases which are compatible with in-house production in low-resource settings, namely for the detection of COVID-19 as part of the AfriDx project. He continues to use directed evolution to improve the sensitivity and efficiency of polymerases within low-cost diagnostic devices. He also has interests in the expansion of the genetic code to expand the toolkit of enzyme function, and in tennis!


Aishwarya Venkatramani is a second year PhD student at CAB and Open Bioeconomy Lab. Aish has previously done a ME in Bioengineering at Stanford University and Bsc in Physics and Chemistry with a Math minor at UC San Diego. She is broadly interested in the concept of design in nature and applications of color indicators. She is currently working on a redox based colorimetric protein but hopes to use that to understand the relevence of redox in catalytic processes in biology that led to the origin of color.



Masters Students

Jordan Mubako joined CAB in 2022 to pursue a Master's after finishing his Undergraduate in Chemistry with a minor in Economics at Harvard University. His research interests include electrochemistry, materials science, low cost diagnostics device manufacturing. Originally from Harare, Zimbabwe, he is passionate about Development initiatives back in Africa and works on educational and agricultural initiatives. In his spare time, he plays rugby and basketball for the Uni teams.



Recent Alums

Dr Joseph Jo Yin Wong was a research associate in CAB group and focused on integrating manufacturing research with synthetic biology for DNA detection. He completed his PhD at CAB too in 2021 and his research focused on the development of a microfluidic focal hypoxia model for microinfarcts and white matter dysfunction. His current research interest is in advancing bioassays for theranostics applications.




Lorena Gordillo Dagallier recently completed her PhD as a joint student in CAB and Dr Ronan Daly's Fluids in Advanced Manufacturing group. Her research focused on engineering paper-binding proteins and exploring novel digital manufacturing techniques for paper-based point-of-care diagnostics. Prior to starting her PhD, Lorena obtained an MRes degree Sensor Technologies and Applications as part of the Sensor CDT and received her BSc and MSc degree in General Engineering from the Technical University of Madrid.


Gemma Feng recently completed her M. Phil by Research at the CAB Lab. Her research focused on using sustainable and biodegradable materials in low-cost, colorimetric diagnostics. Prior to her M. Phil, she obtained her bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from Royal Holloway, University of London. She is currently a trainee solicitor a Kennedys, London.