List of invited speakers

Prof. Gail McConnell

Strathclyde Institute Of Pharmacy And Biomedical Sciences

Prof. McConnell’s background is in photonics and the development of optical instrumentation. Her current research is in the development and application of innovative novel optical systems to address fundamental challenges faced in biological imaging.

Current projects involve innovations in nonlinear optics to create new enabling technologies. These include custom-designed laser systems for coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering microscopy, the creation of ‘open source’ laser scanning microscopy platforms, the application of optical methods to control the function and behaviour of biological organisms and the development of diagnostic tools and measurement techniques applied in optical imaging.


Prof Mark Leake

University of York

Prof Leak currently holds the Professor Anniversary Chair of Biological Physics at the University of York, where he heads a world-leading group to tackle problems on complex biological processes at the single-molecule scale. His group has a strong reputation in single-molecule biophysics and has achieved significant advances in monitoring cellular systems in vivo by using advanced genetics and microscopy techniques.

Current research in his group includes monitoring several functional, living systems simultaneously, understanding and predicting functional biological systems at a single-molecule level, and studying the life-cycle of the DNA molecule. Prof Leake is a member of many national and international committees and has been awarded with many honours and fellowships. Recently, he published the books Single-molecule cellular biophysics (2013), Biophysics: tools and techniques (2016), and The biophysics of infection (2016).


Dr Lynn Paterson

Heriot-Watt University

Dr Paterson is an assistant professor in the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering at Heriot-Watt University, where she heads the Biophotonics Group. During her career, she has worked on several projects involving optical manipulation of cells. Research in her group focuses on the application of optical manipulation, microfluidics, imaging and nanoparticle sensors to the life sciences in areas such as biosensing, biodiscovery and the development of biomedical devices.

Current research interests in her group include using optical forces to isolate single biological cells, optical tweezers, microfluidics with integrated optics, nanoparticle sensors, Raman microspectroscopy and superresolution imaging.


Prof Malte Gather

University of St Andrews

Prof Gather is active in several fields of soft matter photonics. His research interest includes biophtonics, biophysics, organic electronics and plasmonics. He has pioneered work on generating laser light within live cells (top 10 breakthrough in physics in 2011) and on using organic LEDs (OLEDs) for studying light-matter interaction of biological systems.

Current projects in his group focus on studying the physical and biological properties of living cells as well as of bio-derived light emitting materials. These include intracellular lasers which can be used to tag and track individual cells, optical sensors to measure forces exerted by cells, light delivery into biological systems by using OLEDs and applications of biologically produced fluorescent proteins for photonic devices. Just recently he received the Paterson Medal and Price which is awarded for distinguished research in applied physics.