Prof Michelle Peckham
University of Leeds
Michelle Peckham is Professor of Cell Biology in the Faculty of Biological Sciences. She obtained a BA in Physiology of Organisms at the University of York, and a PhD in Physiology at University College London. She moved to King's College London, and started to use a specialised form of light microscopy (birefringence) to investigate muscle crossbridge orientation. She then worked at UCSF, San Francisco for a year, where she used fluorescence polarisation to investigate muscle crossbridges. She moved back to the UK, to the University of York, to work on insect flight muscle. In 1990 she was awarded a Royal Society University Research fellowship, based at King's College London, and began working on the cell and molecular biology of muscle development, and started to use live cell imaging to investigate muscle cell behaviour in cultured cells, and confocal microscopy to investigate their cytoskeleton. She collaborated with Graham Dunn to use Digitally Recorded Interference Microscopy with Automatic Phase Shifting (DRIMAPS) to investigate cell crawling behaviour. She moved to Leeds in 1997 as a Lecturer, and has continued to use a wide range of both light and electron microscopy approaches to investigate the molecular motors and the cytoskeleton.
Prof Grace Burke
RMS Vice President
Dr Peter O'Toole
RMS Vice President
University of York
Peter O'Toole heads the Imaging and Cytometry Labs within the Technology Facility at the University of York which includes an array of confocal microscopes, flow cytometers and electron microscopes. Peter gained his PhD in the Cell Biophysics Laboratory at the University of Essex and has been involved in many aspects of fluorescence imaging. Research is currently focused on both technology and method development of novel probes and imaging modalities. He has ongoing collaborations with many leading microscopy and cytometry companies and his group also provides research support to many academics and commercial organisations. Peter is also heavily involved with teaching microscopy and flow cytometry which includes organising and teaching on both the RMS Light Microscopy Summer School and the RMS Practical Flow Cytometry courses.
Prof Chris Hawes HonFRMS
RMS Executive Honorary Secretary
Oxford Brookes University
Chris Hawes is Professor of Plant Cell Biology and Research Lead and Head of the Doctoral Training Programme in the Department of Biological and Medical Sciences at Oxford Brookes University. He runs a research group looking at the structure and function of the higher plant secretory pathway concentrating on the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus. Much of the work is based around the expression of fluorescent proteins and confocal live cell imaging, although more recently the group have been using EM tomography to look at Golgi biogenesis. Chris also teaches undergraduate courses in Cell Biology, runs the School BioImaging suite and manages a small microscopy consultancy. Chris has been a member of the RMS for many years and has been on the organising committee of the last 5 International Botanical Microscopy meetings and sat on various mmc-series committees. Chris is also a Scientific Editor of the Journal of Microscopy.
Dr Lynne Joyce
RMS Honorary Treasurer
Prior to retiring in 2014 Dr Lynne Joyce was Director of Market Development at Agar Scientific. Lynne graduated with a BA in Biology from the University of York and was awarded her PhD in Plant Sciences from the University of Newcastle. Her first position was with the Lord Rank Research Centre (Rank Hovis McDougall) in High Wycombe where she worked initially on the wheat breeding program and then trained in the electron microscopy unit with Roger Angold. In 1982 she joined Agar Aids (now Agar Scientific) to work with company-founder Alan Agar and was soon appointed Sales Director and then later in 1992 Managing Director, a position she held until 2008.
Lynne became a member of the RMS in 1987 and was invited to join the Trade Advisory Committee (now known as the Corporate Advisory Board) in 1992, where she was an active member until her retirement. Lynne first term as Honorary Treasurer began in 1995 and ran for 10 years (the maximum term permitted).
Dr Debbie Stokes
RMS International Secretary
Debbie Stokes has been a member of the Executive Committee since 2005. Her role as International Secretary entails establishing and maintaining relationships between the RMS and international Societies, companies and universities, as well as actively participating in the strategic planning of the Society. Debbie obtained a PhD in physics at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University, and in 1999 was awarded a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellowship to continue investigating electron emission and charge-related phenomena in insulating materials and the stability of hydrated specimens in the environmental SEM (ESEM). More recently, Debbie worked on new applications and methodologies for focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB SEM). She is interested in all kinds of electron microscopy, and is the author of a recent RMS-Wiley book entitled Principles and Practice of Variable Pressure/Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (VP-ESEM).
Prof Rik Brydson
RMS Honorary Secretary Physical Science
University of Leeds
Rik Brydson holds a chair in the Institute for Materials Research (IMR) in the School of Process Environmental and Materials Engineering at the University of Leeds. He heads the NanoCharacterisation group based around the Leeds Electron Microscopy and Spectroscopy (LEMAS) centre which is shared between Materials and Earth Sciences and also acts as an EPSRC facility for external UK researchers. He has a general research interest in high spatial resolution chemical analysis in nanostructured materials, and has a current research h index of 32 with over 25 years research experience in nanomaterials characterisation. He has managed extensive national and international collaborations including being current consortium leader for the UK National Facility for Aberration corrected Electron Microscopy, SuperSTEM at Daresbury . He is also on the Management Board of the European Microscopy Society. He has written an RMS Handbook on Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (Bios /Taylor and Francis 2001), has co-written a book on “Nanoscale Science and Technology" (Wiley 2005), edited a recent RMS book on Analytical Aberration-corrected Transmission Electron Microscopy with Wiley and has contributed a number of other chapters in specialist books on electron microscopy by other professional bodies covering Physics, Chemistry and Engineering. In recent years his research interests have focused on applying high spatial resolution characterisation methods (particularly TEM and EELS) to the nanochemical analysis of softer, more radiation sensitive materials.
Prof Maddy Parsons
RMS Honorary Secretary Biological Science
King's College London
Maddy Parsons is Professor of Cell Biology at King’s College London. Maddy completed her PhD in Biochemistry within the Department of Medicine at University College London in 2000. During her PhD she analysed the role of mechanical forces in dermal scarring. She then moved to Cancer Research UK laboratories in London for a 4-year postdoctoral position where she used advanced microscopy techniques including FRET/FLIM to dissect adhesion receptor signaling to the actin cytoskeleton and how this controlled directed cell invasion. Based on these achievements, Maddy was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in 2005 to establish her own group within the Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics at King’s College London. Following completion of her fellowship, Maddy was appointed Reader at King’s in 2013 and Professor of Cell Biology in 2015. Maddy has established collaborations with developmental biologists and clinical researchers to study adhesion receptor signalling in skin blistering, wound healing, inflammation and cancer. She works closely with physicists, biophysicists and other world-leading cell migration groups in the field to develop and apply new imaging technologies to dissect spatiotemporal cytoskeletal signalling events in live cells, tissues and whole organisms. As a result of her interest and applications of advanced microscopy, Maddy developed a strong working partnership with Nikon, which subsequently led to the establishment of the state-of-the-art, world-class Nikon Imaging Centre at King’s College London of which she is Director. Maddy also currently works alongside other biotech and pharmaceutical companies to develop and apply advanced imaging approaches to basic mechanisms that underpin drug discovery.
Dr Kerry Thompson
Chair of Education and Outreach Committee
National University of Ireland, Galway
Kerry Thompson is a Lecturer in Anatomy at the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway since 2017. She is the Programme Director for the newly established MSc in Microscopy & Imaging at NUI Galway. In 2010 she was awarded her PhD for a microscopy heavy research project which focused on structure function relations in the human endometrium. In 2011 she began work as a Postdoctoral Microscopy Facility Scientist in the Centre for Microscopy and Imaging (CMI) in NUI Galway and was a key member in its establishment. In the 2014/2015 academic year Kerry acted as a project lead in the “Under the Microscope” Programme, which brought Microscope Activity Kits from the RMS into Irish Primary Schools for the first time. Following this Kerry was elected on the Outreach and Education Committee of the RMS. With the support of both the RMS and the Microscopy Society of Ireland, the team continue to visit schools all over Ireland and partake in outreach events. In 2018 she succeed Prof Susan Anderson as the Honorary Secretary of Outreach and Education of the RMS. Her current research is focused on the development of correlative light and advanced electron microscopy techniques and technologies. She is keenly involved in the acquisition of microscopy related research infrastructure, and the development of adequate training and career progression pathways for Imaging Scientists and Core Facility Staff.
Dr Alex Ball
Natural History Museum
Alex is the Head of Imaging and Analysis in the Core Research Laboratories at the Natural History Museum. He has over 25 years' experience in light and electron microscopy and has published research involving transmission and scanning electron microscopy, confocal microscopy and micro-CT. His PhD research involved the use of LM, SEM and SEM combined with computer-aided 3D reconstruction. Now his interests focus on non-destructive imaging and analysis of natural and cultural heritage samples. Over the course of his career Alex has had the good fortune to be tasked with setting up the NHM's micro-CT laboratory and more recently the 3D surface scanning facilities where our first job was to 3D scan an entire blue whale skeleton! He has a keen interest in outreach and education and has led the NHM's imaging activities at the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival for over ten years and routinely participates in the NHM's public outreach events.
Prof Stan Botchway
UKRI, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, STFC
Following a MSc and PhD (Bristol and Leicester Universities) Prof Stan Botchway was awarded a two-year research fellowship at Harvard Medical School, USA in the department of Radiation Oncology. The primary research involved developing a novel UV microscope with laser microbeam for the study of cellular response to localised (sub-micron) damage and detection of point mutation in DNA using highly sensitive optical techniques. He is now a senior research and facility lead at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (UKRI), Central laser Facility Octopus cluster. His research focuses on developing novel laser applications in biology including an ultrafast laser microbeam for cellular DNA damage and repair studies, advanced imaging instrumentation and spectroscopy including multiphoton Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy (FLIM), the development of novel probes for cellular imaging, studies on cancer protein interactions. He has published widely on phosphorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (PLIM) and super resolution techniques. He is a full member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK), The Royal Microscopical Society (UK), Association for Radiation Research, (UK) and the Radiation Research Society, (USA).
Dr Andy Brown
University of Leeds
Andy Brown is an Associate Professor in the School of Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Leeds and is currently Chair of the Institute of Physics Electron Microscopy and Analysis Group. Andy has a background in the application of analytical transmission electron microscopy to the characterization of materials, focusing more recently on nanoparticles and beam sensitive materials.
Dr Lucy Collinson
EM Section Chair
The Francis Crick Institute
Lucy is Head of Electron Microscopy at The Francis Crick Institute in London. Her degree and PhD were in Microbiology, followed by a post-doctoral position in Cell Biology using light and electron microscopy to investigate membrane trafficking pathways at University College London. Following that she ran biological EM facilities, first at UCL and then at the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute, which became part of the new Francis Crick Institute in 2015. Her microscopy interests cover 3D EM, Correlative Light and EM, X-ray microscopy, image analysis, and microscope design and prototyping.
Prof Sonia Contera
SPM Section Chair
University of Oxford
Sonia Contera is an Associate Professor in Biological Physics at the University of Oxford. She works at the interface of nanomaterials, physics and biology and she is an expert in atomic force microscopy. Currently she collaborates with engineers, biologists, chemists and mathematicians in various multidisciplinary projects that range from understanding the mechanical aspects to plant growth to developing materials for tissue engineering, and developing methods for measuring mechanoelectrical coupling in neurons. She has a special interest in the role of mechanics in linking molecular function with cellular biology and in learning how this knowledge can be used for creating better materials with applications in healthcare. Sonia often writes pieces for the general press , e.g. in WIRED magazine or the Huffington Post, and also works with international organisations such as the World Economic Forum. She has just finished a book entitled "Transmateria: Nanotechnology and the future of biology and Medicine" and she is preparing a Soapbox Science "performance" with artist Ellen McAleavey for the Oxford Arts Festival.
Mr Derek Davies
Flow Cytometry Section Chair
The Francis Crick Institute
Derek runs a large flow cytometry core facility at Cancer Research UK’s London Research Institute which covers all aspects of cell analysis and sorting. He co-organises the section’s annual flow cytometry course at the University of York and is active in promotion of cytometry via focussed meetings and other courses. He is one of the principal organisers of the flowcytometryUK biennial meeting and also the Advances in Cytometry Meeting. Derek is particularly keen to promote cytometry education within the UK and beyond.
Dr Liz Duke
Diamond Light Source
Dr Liz Duke works at Diamond Light Source the UK’s national synchrotron facility where she has designed and built various X-ray beamlines including, most recently, the cryo soft X-ray microscope. Her first degree is in Physics and her D. Phil is in Molecular Biophysics, specifically the use of laue crystallography for time resolved studies on glycogen phosphorylase. Following her D. Phil she spent (far too) many years developing techniques for macromolecular crystallography data collection alongside designing and building the beamlines themselves. More recently she was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to work alongside key scientists in establishing the necessary steps of the pipeline required for the use of cryo soft X-ray microscopy in the study of cellular structures culminating in building the beamline dedicated to biological cryo soft X-ray microscopy at Diamond Light Source.
Mrs Kim Findlay
John Innes Centre
Kim is head of Bioimaging at the John Innes Centre, Norwich. Her degree was in Biology and Physics at King’s College, London. With over 30 years' experience in light and electron microscopy and more than 70 publications involving the use of TEM, SEM or confocal microscopy, in 2015 she was awarded the RMS Vice Presidents Medal for microscopy research and laboratory support. Her early focus on the plant cytoskeleton developed into a wider interest in plant and microbial sciences. She has made particularly important and long-standing contributions to Streptomyces research. Kim teaches cryo-SEM at the RMS EM school and taught on the RMS cryo-EM course in the past. She is regularly involved in Outreach activities, running tours and demonstrations for the public and young students. Kim won an award from the University of East Anglia, where she is an honorary lecturer, for her outstanding contribution to public and community engagement.
Prof Beverley Inkson
Engineering & Physical Sciences Section Chair
University of Sheffield
Beverley Inkson is Professor of Nanomaterials in The Dept of Materials Science and Engineering at The University of Sheffield, where she leads the NanoLAB Centre. Beverley joined the RMS as a PhD student in Electron Microscopy at Cambridge University, and served on the RMS EM section committee while a Royal Society University Research Fellow. She set up the UK NanoFIB network in 2001, and has run numerous Focused Ion Beam scientific meetings joint with the RMS. Beverley’s research interests focus on the use of electron and ion microscopies to quantify the nanomechanical and functional properties of 3D nanomaterials, including developing novel in-situ SPM-TEM and tomographic characterisation methods.
"I am excited to be the first Chair of the new Physical and Engineering Sciences Section, and look forward to developing an exciting programme with active involvement of the new generation of young scientists."
Prof Klaus Qvortrup
University of Copenhagen
Klaus Qvortrup heads the Core Facility for Integrated Microscopy at The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen which includes a number of confocal and electron microscopes. Klaus graduated from medical school and later gained his PhD at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark and has been involved in many aspects of electron microscopy imaging. Research is currently focused on serial block face imaging including improvements of specimen preparation. Klaus chairs The European Microscopy Congress, August 23-28 2020 in Copenhagen, and serves in that respect The European Microscopy Society Executive Board as member until 2024.
Prof Paul Midgley Hon FRMS
Paul Midgley is Professor of Materials Science and Director of the Electron Microscopy Facility. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Professorial Fellow at Peterhouse. Before moving to Cambridge in 1997, he held two Research Fellowships in the H.H. Wills Physics Laboratory at the University of Bristol, the first funded by The Royal Commission for The Exhibition of 1851 and the second by The Royal Society. He has studied a wide variety of materials by electron microscopy and developed a number of novel electron microscopy techniques. His recent research has concentrated on electron tomography, electron holography, energy filtered TEM and precession electron diffraction.
Mr Alex Sossick
Light Microscopy Section Chair
University of Cambridge
Alex heads the Imaging Facility at the Gurdon Institute, which includes a variety of microscopy techniques including confocal, high throughput and deconvolution. He is keen to raise the level of microscopy understanding and application, and runs and takes part in various microscopy courses.
Dr Claire Wells
Life Sciences Section Chair
King's College London
Claire's laboratory is interested in how cancer cells are able to dissociate from the primary tumour, invade the surrounding tissue and subsequently metastasise to distal sites. They use a lot of microscopy in the work, including confocal, TIRF and FRET in addition to live cell imaging to investigate the role of PAK family kinases in cancer cell migration, adhesion and invasion. Claire co-organised the 2012 RMS Abercrombie meeting and is involved in a number of RMS events. She is the life sciences representative on the RMS Outreach committee and has been working with local primary school children bringing microscopy into the classroom.
Dr Neil Wilson
University of Warwick
Neil is an Associate Professor in the Microscopy Group, Physics Department, University of Warwick. He started working with AFM during his PhD (completed 2004), also at the University of Warwick, where he developed carbon nanotube AFM tips and used AFM to study the electrical properties of nanotubes. Since then he has continued his interest in the application and development of scanning probe microscopy techniques for the study of functional properties of nanomaterials such as nanotubes, organic semiconductors and two-dimensional materials. Other research interests include growth and functionalisation of two-dimensional materials, high resolution electron microscopy of molecular materials, and nanoscale electronic structure measurement through spatially resolved photoemission spectroscopy
Prof Paul French
Imperial College London
Paul French is in the Photonics Group of the Physics Department at Imperial College London, where he was a Royal Society University Research Fellow from 1989 until 1994 when he joined the academic staff, serving as Head of the Photonics Group from 2001-2013. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of New Mexico (1988) and worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories (1990/91). His research has evolved from ultrafast dye and solid-state laser physics to biomedical optics with a particular emphasis on fluorescence lifetime imaging for applications in molecular cell biology, drug discovery and clinical diagnosis. His current portfolio includes the development and application of multidimensional fluorescence imaging technology for microscopy, endoscopy and tomography.
Prof Peter Nellist
Journal of Microscopy General Editor
University of Oxford
Pete Nellist is a Professor in the Department of Materials, and a Tutorial Fellow at Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford. He leads a research group that focuses on the applications and development of high-resolution electron microscope techniques, in particular scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), including atomic resolution Z-contrast imaging, ptychography, electron energy-loss and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and applications of spherical aberration correctors. Pete gained his PhD from the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge. Since then he has worked in academia and in the commercial world in the UK, USA and Republic of Ireland. In 2007 he was awarded the Burton Medal by the Microscopy Society of America for exceptional contributions to microscopy, and in 2013 the Ernst Ruska Prize of the German Microscopy Society. In addition to being Vice-President of the Royal Microscopical Society he is also a Board Member of the European Microscopy Society.
Prof Susan Anderson
Education and Outreach Committee Vice Chair and MAK Co-ordinator
University of Nottingham
Susan Anderson has been involved in microscopy for over 20 years. She established and led the Advanced Microscopy Unit at the University of Nottingham for ten years and is especially interested in electron microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy and correlative microscopy. She joined the RMS Materials Science Section in 2006 and helped to organise several symposia on the use of microscopy in biomaterials and tissue engineering. She was delighted to be invited to be the Honorary Secretary of Outreach and Education in 2009 and has established a Committee of talented and enthusiastic microscopists and educationalists to drive forward the strategy of the newly established Outreach and Education section. Susan has been involved in Education for many years. She has been a volunteer at her local primary school and has encouraged many primary and secondary school visits to the Advanced Microscopy Unit over the years. In addition, she is involved with a creative science programme which encourages creativity in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) in a space managed by and for young people. Through this she has been lucky to be involved in working with many primary and secondary schools to improve science provision.
Prof Susan Brooks
RMS-Wiley Book Series Editor
Oxford Brookes University
Susan has been involved with the RMS since winning an RMS prize for young scientists giving their first public scientific talk in 1985. Her research uses different types of microscopy -- standard light and fluorescence, confocal and electron microscopy - to study cancer biology. She is passionate about science education and teaches on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate cancer and cell biology courses. She has been an organiser of the RMS Cell Imaging Techniques course since 1996. She has authored and edited half a dozen books and is the RMS-Wiley handbook series editor.
Dr Adrian Burden
Key IQ Ltd & Innovate Malvern CIC
Adrian Burden is Technical Director of Key IQ and Managing Director of Innovate Malvern. He has used various forms of electron and light microscopy during his career, winning the International Pergamon Carbon Journal Prize for his D.Phil. thesis that involved observing fullerenes forming in realtime in a modified electron microscope. Currently he works on a variety of business and technology projects whilst actively promoting STEM careers to the UK’s next generation of innovators.
Dr Vikas Trivedi
infocus Deputy Editor
University of Cambridge
Vikas is a Herchel Smith Fellow at the Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge. During his PhD at Caltech, USA, he worked on a wide range of in vivo imaging and analysis techniques including 2-photon light sheet microscopy and hyper-spectral imaging of biological processes across the length and time scales. Alongside being a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, he also teaches an imaging module for the Systems Biology course at the University. His current research work focusses on visualizing morphogenetic events in 3D aggregates of embryonic stem cells to understand their beautiful self assembly in culture.
Mr Chris Kennedy
RMS Honorary Historian
Mr Leslie Stump
ISO and IT
In the mid-sixties Leslie Stump began his career working in the Department of Metallurgy at the University of Oxford. He then moved to the Physics Department at Rice University in Houston, Texas and then to the Department of Metallurgy at the University of Toronto before returning to Oxford to the Department of Zoology. He remained there for six years continuing to be involved in both light and electron microscopy. Leaving Zoology in the mid-seventies his sales career began in the microscope division of British American Optical and he has remained in the microscopy and imaging business to date.
Dr John Hutchison HonFRMS
History Committee Chair
University of Oxford
John Hutchison’s involvement with the RMS started 40 years ago when his micrograph entry won first prize in the 1974 competition. He was awarded a Certificate and the Glauert Medal by the then President Gerard L’E Turner.
John joined the Materials Science Section in 1984, and later the Electron Microscopy Section. Following a six year stint as Executive Honorary Secretary, he was elected President for the period 2002 – 2004, during which time he had the opportunity to present Gerard L’E Turner with an Honorary Fellowship, almost 30 years after receiving his own competition prize from him!
In 2014, to mark the Society's 175th anniversary, John wrote a specially commissioned book 'Moving Forward' highlighting the Society's activities from 1989-2014, bridging the gap from God Bless the Microscope! by Gerard L'E Turner
Dr Paul Spellward
Corporate Advisory Board Chair
Paul Spellward started in electron microscopy as a PhD student at the University of Bristol in 1986. Initially working in TEM, diffraction and materials science research (PhD and Post-docs), he later moved to industrial microscopy of all sorts in the nuclear power generation industry. He joined Nuclear Electric (later Magnox Electric and BNFL) at its Berkeley Technology Centre in 1994 and from 1998-2001 was the manager of the Electron Optics facility, including SEMs, TEMs and surface analysis equipment, some of which operated with highly radioactive samples. He was responsible for developing external business, with customers worldwide sending samples for examination at Berkeley. Paul joined Gatan UK in 2001, initially in technical sales and from 2004 to 2011 he was the sales and service manager for the UK, Scandinavia, Iberia, Israel and South Africa. He has organised Gatan’s participation in Microscience (now MMC) and EMAG throughout his time in Gatan and was invited to join the RMS TAC (now CAB) in 2008. From 2011-3, Paul was Vice President, Global Marketing for Gatan Inc. From 2014, Paul has the post of Director of Sales for the UK Region.
Visit the RMS Science Sections