Paul Beales Research Group

Group photo, May 2016: (l-r) Shezi Mohamadi, Rashmi Seneviratne, Andrew Booth, Nikki Ingram, Paul Beales. Danielle Miles, Dale Diamond, Sanobar Khan, Stephen Jones

Principal Investigator

MPhys (physics), University of Edinburgh; PhD (physics), University of Edinburgh
Paul is an Associate Professor in the Physical Chemistry section of the School of Chemistry (since 2016). He came to Leeds as a senior translational research fellow (funded by the Biomedical & Health Research Centre) in November 2010. Before joining the University of Leeds, Paul held postdoc positions in the chemical engineering departments at Princeton and Yale Universities. Paul's research interests span membrane biophysics, self-assembled soft materials, nanomedicine and (bottom-up) synthetic biology.
Google Scholar Researcher ID


Andrew is an EPSRC-funded PDRA working on the biophysical mechanistic understanding of membrane disrupting peptides with anticancer properties. This project is in collaboration with Dr Tom Hughes (medicine) and Dr Simon Connell (physics) as well as external collaborators in Durham and York. Andrew previously worked on an EPSRC project in collaboration with the group of Dr. Barbara Ciani at the University of Sheffield, which aimed to repurpose ESCRT proteins for the fabrication of compartmentalised artificial cells as a tool for bottom-up synthetic biology. Andrew earlier joined the Beales Group from the lab of Simon Webb at the University of Manchester, where he did his PhD.
James works on the EPSRC-funded ULTRASPINE project, led by Prof. Ruth Wilcox in the School of Mechanical Engineering. The goal is to develop an injectable hydrogel for augmentation of degenerated nucleus pulposa in the spine as a treatment for chronic back pain. A key aspect of James' role in the project is the design and physical characterisation of the hydrogels composed of self-assembling peptides and mucopolysaccharides.

PhD Students

Sanobar has a University of Leeds 110 Anniversary studentship, cofunded and in collaboration with AstraZeneca. Her project is to develop and characterise novel vesicle formulations of oncology drugs for delivery to solid tumours. The work has on strong emphasis on the material design and fundamental characterisation using a wide range of analytical methods. Specific goals include enhancing the loading capacity of active compounds within the particles and tuneability of drug release kinetics. Sanobar is cosupervised by Dr Michael Webb.
Rashmi is part of the EPSRC-funded SOFI CDT, cosupervised by Prof Michael Rappolt from the School of Food Science and Nutrition. Her project aims to improve our understanding of the properties of hybrid lipid - block copolymer membranes by combining a range of scattering, microscopy and spectroscopy techniques. Rashmi previously worked in the group on her final year MChem project investigating the self-assembly and properties of peptide-glycosaminoglycan multicomponent hydrogels.
Marcos joined the group in 2017 funded by a University of Leeds endowed scholarship to investigate the biophysics of the interactions of inorganic nanoparticles with lipid bilayer membranes. This work has been in support of the EU Horizon 2020 HISENTS project. Marcos has been primarily focusing on silver and silica nanoparticles due to their proposed applications in biomedical therapies.
Zexi is a member of the group of Dr Arwen Tyler in the School of Food Science and Nutrition, cosupervised by Paul. Her project aims to develop pH-responsive lyotropic liquid crystalline nanoparticles for applications that require environment-responsive triggered release of encapsulated compounds.
Adan is on the EPSRC-funded CP3 CDT and supervised by Paul and Dr Nick Warren in the School of Chemical and Process Engineering. Adan is developing novel polymer vesicles with a current focus on understanding how their properties are influenced by the processing steps that influence their pathway of self-assembly.
Juan aims to develop long-acting parenteral analgesic delivery systems that can be applied directly to sites of trauma during abdominal surgery to accelerate recovery and reduce the duration of hospital stay following the surgical procedure. Juan is funded by CONNACyT and cosupervised by Prof David Jayne from the School of Medicine and Prof Nik Kapur from the School of Mechanical Engineering.
Dagmara is investigating the interaction mechanisms of membrane-active anticancer peptides as part of the team on this EPSRC-funded project. She is cosupervised by Tom Hughes in the School of Medicine.
Matthew is part of the EPSRC CDT in Tissue Engineering. Supervised by Prof Ruth Wilcox (Mechanical Engineering), Dr Hazel Fermor (Biomedical Sciences) and Paul, Matthew is continuing our work on developing an injectable hydrogel therapy for chronic back pain.

BSc (Neurosciences in Relation to Medicine), University of Leeds; MB ChB (Medicine), University of Leeds

Adrian is funded by the CoDIR group, who are an E.U. funded consortium developing a robot to perform colonoscopy. He is a surgical research fellow under Prof. David Jayne. His PhD is highly translational, involving Mechanical Engineering and Chemistry. He is co-supervised by Prof. Anne Neville and Paul from these disciplines. His PhD work aims to develop a novel nanoparticle-based delivery system for Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Helen is an MD student in the group of Prof. David Jayne. Her project is also in collaboration with Prof Mark Green and Dr Lea Ann Dailey at KCL. The goal is to synthesise targeted organic semiconductor nanoparticles and demonstrate their potential application in diagnostic imaging of colorectal tumours to guide surgical resection.

Undergraduate and MSc Project Students

Former Group Members

Eleanor Medley MChem final year project 2018-19
Joe Thompson MChem final year project 2018-19
Dr Alex Vakurov Postdoc 2018-19
Dr Stephen Jones PhD student 2014-18
Sophia Winter Laidlaw Scholarship student 2017-18
Eleanor McKeating MChem final year project 2017-18
Dr Nicola Ingram Postdoc 2015-17
Naomi Belami MSc project student 2017
Alex Holder MChem final year project 2016-17
David Austin CDT rotation student 2016-17
Dr Thomas Wild PhD student 2012-17
Sophie Moul Wellcome Trust rotation student 2016
Dr Danielle Miles Postdoc 2014-16
Dr Nidhi Lal Postdoc 2014-16
Jakub Janowiak CDT rotation student 2015-16
Dale Diamond MChem final year project 2015-16
Dr Ivona Petrache PhD student 2012-16
Jack Brown MChem final year project 2014-15
Nathan Blott MChem final year project 2014-15
Catherine Bambrook CDT rotation student 2014
Noha Abu El Magd Society of Biology summer student / BSc Nanotechnology project 2013-14
Cameron Low MChem final year project 2013-14
Chris Winterborn CDT rotation student 2014
Dr Tania Sheynis PDRA (Marie Curie fellow; group of Prof. Sheena Radford) 2011-13
Dr Alexa Cleasby Research Associate (with Dr B. Ciani, University of Sheffield) 2013
Dr Vijay Prasad Clinical research fellowship 2012-13
Alex Aldhouse MChem final year project 2012-13
Gemma Watson MChem final year project 2012-13
Natalia Bueno Leite Visiting PhD student (Sao Paulo State University) 2012
Adi Harun BSc Nanotechnology project 2011-12
Adam Churchman Nuffield summer student / BSc Nanotechnology project 2011-12
Mark Bennett MSc Bionanotechnology project 2010-12
Hanan Mohammed MSc Nanoscale Science & Technology project 2010-11