Medical School - University of BarcelonaDr Núria Gavara was trained as a physicist before obtaining a PhD on Cell Biophysics at the Medical School of the University of Barcelona (Spain). She expanded her research skills by taking postdoctoral positions at the National Institutes of Health (NIH, USA) and the Institute of Biophysics at the University of Goettingen (Germany). Since 2013, she is a Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering and Biomaterials within the School of Engineering and Material Sciences at Queen Mary, University of London. Her research interests sit at the interface of cellular biophysics, mechanobiology, computer vision and machine learning, with a strong aim to furthering the understanding of the biological processes involved in physiology and disease. The research carried out in her lab focuses on the cell's cytoskeleton, and especially the characterisation of its organization and mechanical properties.To do so, the lab uses a broad cellular biophysics toolbox, including Atomic Force Microscopy, Traction Force Microscopy, high-throughput imaging, advanced image quantification pipelines and machine learning methods.
Dr. George Heath is a University Academic Fellow at the University of Leeds in the School of Physics and Astronomy and School of Biomedical Sciences. His PhD work with Prof Stephen Evans and Dr Simon Connell investigated a range of lipid membrane and protein systems using atomic force microscopy (AFM) including actin assembly at membranes, protein diffusion and lipid phase behaviour. He remained in Leeds to perform postdoctoral research, moving across to the School of Biomedical Sciences to work with Prof Lars Jeuken designing bottom up approaches to mimic multi-layered membrane protein systems to understand the biological processes and exploit their properties for biotechnology applications. He then completed a second postdoctoral position in New York working with Prof Simon Scheuring at Weill Cornell Medicine of Cornell University. Here he developed and applied new high-speed AFM methods to study membrane proteins before returning to Leeds in 2019 to start an independent position as University Academic Fellow. His current research focuses on further developing high-speed AFM techniques to study the structural dynamics of complex single biomolecules on the sub nanometre scale to increase our understanding of diseases and improve medicine.