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Current Members

Maligne Lake, Alberta, Canada (2017)
Lorenzo Di Michele (PI) [CV]

Lorenzo completed his undergraduate and master degrees in Physics at the University of L'Aquila (Abruzzo, Italy) in 2010, before moving to the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge to start his PhD in Soft Condensed Matter Physics. After graduating in 2013, Lorenzo took up an Oppenheimer Early Career Research Fellowship, followed by a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellowship in 2016 and a Royal Society University Research Fellowship (URF). In August 2019 Lorenzo moved to the Department of Chemistry at Imperial College London. As of 2021 he's a URF and (proleptic) Senior Lecturer.

Josh Johnson (PDRA, 2020 - ongoing)

Josh completed his BS and MS in Applied Physics at the Colorado School of Mines. Josh then completed his PhD in Biophysics in the Nanoengineering and Biodesign laboratory at The Ohio State University. During this time Josh conducted research focusing on control over DNA origami nanomachines both in regards to directing the self-assembly of DNA nanostructures and in regards to control over the configuration of nanomechanisms. Josh currently uses his expertise in the design of DNA nanostructures to help develop artificial cells with advanced capabilities.

Will Kaufhold (PhD student, 2017 - ongoing)

Will completed his BA and MSci in Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory with a year at MIT, also working in the DiMicheleLAB for his final project in 2017. He started his PhD in October 2017, working towards the development of DNA-nanotechnology tools for bottom-up synthetic biological systems, in particular artificial cells. Will's research combines experiments and computer simulations.

Roger Rubio Sanchez (PhD student, 2018 - ongoing)

Roger joined DiMicheleLAB in 2018 as a CDT project student, and later as PhD student. Roger completed his undergraduate degree in Biotechnology Engineering at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Mexico City, before joining the EPSRC CDT in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in 2017. Roger's project focuses on the development of a biomimetic DNA-nanotechnology platform for environmental sensing in artificial cells.

Adrian Leathers (PhD student, 2018 - ongoing)

Adrian joined the group in October 2018 after completing his undergraduate studies in Physics at EPFL Lausanne and his master at ETH Zurich. Adrian also worked for his master thesis in the group of Ulrich Keyser (Cambridge).  Adrian's PhD work focuses on new DNA-nanotechnology-based biomimetic systems.

Michal Walczak (PhD student, 2018 - ongoing)

Michal Walczak joined the group in October 2018 to work on the structural and dynamic properties of DNA-based materials. Michal completed his undergraduates and master studies at Poznan University of Technology spending also substantial time at CERN.

Giacomo Fabrini (PhD student, 2019 - ongoing)

Giacomo joined the group in November 2019 to work on responsive DNA hydrogels featuring non-canonical motifs. Giacomo is an electronic engineer, having graduated for both his bachelor and master degree at La Sapienza University of Rome.

Hannah Sleath (PhD student, 2019 - ongoing)

Hannah is co-supervised by Lorenzo and Yuval Elani and has joined the groups in October 2019. Her PhD work focuses in motility and chemotaxis in artificial cellular systems. Earlier she studied Natural Sciences (Physics) at Cambridge and worked with Ulrich Keyser for her master project.

Layla Malouf (PhD student, 2020 - ongoing)

Layla completed her undergraduate and MSci degree in Chemistry at Imperial College London. Following this, she worked at the Home Office and later as a stealth and novel materials scientist at QinetiQ, where she secured >£100k in internal and external research funding to work on novel materials projects. She joined the Di Michele group in January 2020, where she is a postgraduate researcher on the ERC-funded NANOCELL project, working on developing a DNA nanotechology toolkit for artificial cell design.

Diana Tanase (MSc + PhD student, 2019 - ongoing)

Diana complete here MSc in Chemistry with Molecular Physics at Imperial, and joined the group for her MSC research project on the applications of DNA nanotech to bottom-up synthetic biology. She then continued as a PhD student on the ERC-funded NANOCELL project on the development of a DNA nanotechnology toolkit for bottom-up synthetic biology.

Federica Raguseo (PhD student, 2020 - ongoing)

Is a PhD student in the Leverhulme Doctoral Centre for Cellular Bionics, co-supervised with Marco Di Antonio and Yuval Elani. Her work focuses on developing an artificial system to study phase separation phenomenon of genetic material in cells. She graduated with an Msci in Chemistry from Imperial College London in 2020. 

Aileen Cooney (PhD student, 2020 - ongoing)

Aileen began her PhD studies under the joint supervision of Lorenzo, Yuval Elani and Pietro Cicuta in October 2020. She is part of the Leverhulme Doctoral Centre for Cellular Bionics and focuses on applying DNA nanotechnology to engineer motile artificial cells. She completed her UG & MSci (under Professor Sophia Yaliraki) in Chemistry at Imperial College London, with a year in industry spent at GlaxoSmithKline. She then lived in Tokyo as a Scholar of the Daiwa Foundation, where she conducted research into nanopore time series data in the lab of Professor Kawano at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. 


  • Ryan Brady: CDT project student (2015), then PhD student (2015-2018), then postdoc (2018-2019). Now postdoc at King's College London
  • Omar Amjad: CDT project student (2015), then PhD student (2015-2019). Also with Pietro Cicuta. Now working in consultancy
  • Roberta Lanfranco: Postdoc (2018-2019). Now working in consultancy
  • Edo Vreeker: Visiting master student from the University of Amsterdam. Also with Pietro Cicuta
  • Barbara Falcao: Visiting master student from the University of Lisbon. Also with Pietro Cicuta
  • Lucia Tunesi: Visiting master student from University of Milan (2018).
  • Jeff Jin Rong Quach: Visiting master student from University of Copenhagen (2018)
  • Jedrzej Morzy: CDT project student (2018). Now PhD student in Materials (Cambridge)  
  • Josh Tuffnell: CDT project student (2017-2018). Now PhD student in Materials (Cambridge)
  • Peter Gerlagh: MSc project student (2018)
  • Aleksandra Bartosik: Visiting master student from University of Copenhagen (2017)
  • Bruno Luigi Carlo Borro: Visiting master student from University of Copenhagen (2016). Now PhD students in Copenhagen.
  • Shruti Sharma: CDT project student (2016). Now PhD student in Physics (Cambridge)
  • Leonardo Pierobon: MSc project student (2016). Now PhD student at ETH Zurich
  • Guoshuai (Daniel) Cao: MSc project student (2016)
  • Yucel Serar Gul: Visiting master student from Bilkent University
  • Sifan Sun: MSc project student (2015)
  • Michal Bogdan: MSc project student (2015). Now PhD student in Engineering (Cambridge)
  • Matthew Houlden: MSc project student (2014)
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