Yuval Photo.jpg

Yuval Elani - Group Leader 

Dr Yuval Elani leads the Soft Microsystems Group as an EPSRC Research Fellow. In under four years he has been awarded 3 Fellowships totalling c. £700k, and helped secure > £2.5 M of funding. 

Yuval is co-investigator of the Membrane Biophysics Platform, is co-founder and member of the executive of FABRICELL, and is Associate Editor of Experimental Biology and Medicine. Yuval sits on the management team for the Leverhulme Centre for Cellular Bionics, and has published extensively in the areas of synthetic biology, biointerfaces, and soft-matter biotechnology. His work has been recognised by the UK Parliamentary and Scientific Committee who awarded him the Roscoe Medal and Gold Award, and by the World Economic Forum, who selected him to be part of their Young Scientist Community (50 under 40 worldwide). He is also the recipient of the IC Lord Porter Prize, the Royal Society of Chemistry Rita and John Cornforth Award, and holds a prestigious EPSRC Fellowship to conduct blue skies research.

Yuval sits on the EPSRC Early Career advisory board for Engineering. Please feel free to get in touch if you like to speak about early career matters or would like him to relay any messages to the Research Councils. 

Yuval’s academic training was at Cambridge University where he read Natural Sciences as an undergraduate, and at Imperial College London, where he completed a multidisciplinary MRes studying drug/membrane interactions and a PhD on developing microfluidic technologies for the generation of compartmentalised cell-mimetic microreactors. This was followed by a Doctoral Prize Fellowship, completed in 2016.

Yuval is affiliated with the CAPITALS programme and the Institute of Chemical Biology, and is keen to explore collaborations across the physical and biological sciences, as well as with industry.  

photo for bio1.png

Greta Zubaite - PhD Student

I am a Leverhulme Trust funded PhD student at Imperial College London working on artificial/biohybrid cell generation and application. I finished my Biochemistry Bachelors and Masters degrees at Vilnius University, Lithuania. During this time I used droplet microfluidics to work on cell-free protein expression using DNA microparticles. I had an internship at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, where I studied Huntington disease yeast model morphology using CryO EM. I also had the chance to do an internship at the University of Cambridge, where I explored double emulsion and liposome generation using droplet microfluidics. In my free time I enjoy painting and drawing.

nacho online.jpg

Nacho Gispert Contamina - PhD Student 

Ignacio “Nacho” is doing a Leverhulme Trust funded PhD on artificial/biological hybrid cells. Previously, he used stimuli responsive systems to control cell behaviour on his way to completing an Mres in Chemical Biology at Imperial College. Before moving to London, he finished a 4-year degree in Chemistry at Institut Químic de Sarrià (IQS, Barcelona) where he worked with new drugs for antimicrobial photodynamic therapy, studying its optical, photophysical and photoantimicrobial properties in vitro. He had an internship at Laboratoire des IMRCP at Paul Sabatier University (Toulouse, France) where he studied the cytotoxicity and photodegradation mechanism of different highly toxic pollutants using UPLC-MS. In his free time, he participates in workshops and outreach activities for children and he also competes for Imperial’s basketball first team. 


Qien Li - MRes Student 

I did my undergraduate at Imperial Chemistry and a final year project in Yuval's group on membrane engineering and characterization. For my MRes/PhD I will be working on controlled engineering of membrane constructs for Synthetic Biology.  



Tay Ru Hui Tay - Visiting Student, NUS, Singapore 

A current student working on a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in the National University of Singapore (NUS). In the pursuit of knowledge and exploration in the direction of Chemical Biology, Metalorganic Chemistry and Computational Chemistry. During her free time, she enjoys doing extreme sport activities. But, coming from a tropical island, nothing beats to her, a rigorous paddling session with her dragon-boating team on sunny Sunday mornings in Singapore.



Adi Vivek - MRes Student

My name is Adithya Vivek (U.S.A.)- I am currently completing MRes Nanomaterials in the Membrane Biophysics Group under Dr. Y. Elani for the 2nd year. I completed my MSc Bioengineering in the Biomaterials & Tissue Engineering specialization from Imperial College London (2018) & BEng Medical Engineering from Cardiff University (2017).

I have undertaken projects in soft robotics (Bristol Robotics Laboratory), adhesive contact mechanics theory (Cardiff University), bio-synthetic interfacial engineering (Tokyo Institute of Technology), engineering lipid membrane domains & vesicle-nanostructure hybrids (Imperial College London). My interests follow synthetic biology, consulting both physiology and bottom-up design of artificial cells- especially nanomaterials and/or designing protein constructs for hybridization with biomolecular bodies, cells, or tissues as a whole


 Hu Zehua - MRes Student

I am Frank, I did my undergraduate at Imperial and my final year project was about the two-dimensional infrared spectroscopic characterization of amyloid beta. I am proficient in 2D/3D graphics generation and I have previously done some big data analytics courses. My MRes project is about the microfluidic approaches for manufacturing multi-stage release delivery vehicles


James Albon - MSci Student 

Hi my name is James Albon. I am 21 and live in London. I am entering my fourth year of university at Imperial College London to complete my masters in Chemistry. I am excited to conduct research into artificial cells and test its numerous applications. 


  • Yinglu Chen

  • Christopher Parperis

  • Julia Thomas

  • Zengjie Xia