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Physics and Astronomy

Photo of Prof Francesca Palombo

Prof Francesca Palombo

Professor of Biomedical Spectroscopy

 F.Palombo@exeter.ac.uk

 (Streatham) 6612

 01392 726612


Overview

I am the Director of Global Engagement and Study Abroad Coordinator for Physics since August 2023.

I lead the Health Technologies @ Exeter Research Network with Prof. Helen Dawes since January 2023.

Along with being a Principal Investigator in Physics, I am an Affiliate Investigator of the Living Systems Institute.

My research is focused on developing Brillouin, Raman and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic imaging methods for applications to biology and medicine. I am interested in the physical and chemical aspects of biological systems at a molecular level, as well as their implications in health and disease.

Team members:

  • Michelle Bailey (PDRA): Novel Brillouin-Raman microscopy applied to oesophageal cancer
  • Hao Meng (PhD): Laser spectroscopy for biofluid detection of Alzheimer's disease
  • Felix Weedon (PhD): Light scattering spectroscopy of keratin structures
  • Steve Hill (PhD): Advanced optical tools for early detection of oesophageal cancer
  • Hessah Alotaibi (PhD): Gold nanoconstructs for cancer theranostics
  • Ioana Blein (PhD): Novel nanoparticles for Raman nanotheranostic applications

Alumni: postdoc - Dr Noemi Correa 2017-21; PhD Physics - (2nd sup.) Doriana Calabrese, Eve Nebbiolo, Jenni Haskell and (3rd) Jacob Binsley 2023, (2nd) Pascaline Bouzy, (1st) Michelle Bailey and Fahad Aldosari 2022, (1st) Rikke Morrish 2021, (1st) Ryan Edginton 2018; visiting PhDs - Francesco Monnati 2023 (University of Tor Vergata, Rome) and Leonardo Pioppi 2021, Martina Alunni Cardinali 2019/20, Doriana Calabrese 2018, Beatrice Gironi 2017, and Sara Mattana 2016 (University of Perugia); visiting undergraduates - Antoine David (MEng) 2014 (ENSEIRB-MATMECA Bordeaux); summer internship - Savi Elias (MSci) 2022, Will Mitchell (MSci) 2021, Elise Hobson (MSci) 2020, Ebony Cave and Tom Carter (MSci) 2018, Laurence Mitchell and Thomas Ledgerwood (MSci) 2017, Imogen Swift (MSci) 2016, Sarah Stoyle (MPhys) 2016.

Teaching: PHY2026 Practical Physics II with Prof. Feodor Ogrin (module lead) and NSC2002 Physical Chemistry with Dr Steve Green (module lead).

Links:

BioSpec Team website

EPSRC RaNT Medicine Programme Grant website

LinkedIn profile

Twitter profile

Education and Employment

  • 2022-  Professor of Biomedical Spectroscopy, University of Exeter
  • 2018-22  Associate Professor of Biomedical Spectroscopy, University of Exeter
  • 2017-18  Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Spectroscopy, University of Exeter
  • 2013-17  Lecturer in Biomedical Spectroscopy, University of Exeter
  • 2012-13  Senior Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of East Anglia
  • 2009-11  Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Perugia, Italy
  • 2007-9  Postdoctoral Research Associate, Imperial College London
  • Feb 2007  PhD Physical Chemistry, University of Perugia, Italy

Recently Funded Research Projects

  • (PI) CRUK/EPSRC Early Detection and Diagnosis Award, 2022-25, £499,139
  • (PI) Research Network "Health Technologies @ Exeter", 2023-
  • (PI) COST Innovators Grant "BLiSS-BMD" IG16124, 2021-22, €116,150
  • EPSRC Programme Grant "RaNT" (PI: Prof. Nick Stone) EP/R020965/1, 2018-23, £5.75M
  • EPSRC Core Equipment Award "EBOC" (PI: Prof. Neil Gow) EP/V034251/1, 2020-22, £632,086
  • Hubert Curien Alliance Programme 2021 (PI: Dr Ben Sherlock) 816469063, 2022, €5k
  • (PI) CRUK/EPSRC Multidisciplinary Award NS/A000063/1, 2017-21, £499,876
  • (Vice-Chair) COST Action "BioBrillouin" CA16124, 2017-21, €507,935
  • (PI) BBSRC CTP PhD Studentship BB/V509450/1 with Unilever to Felix Weedon, 2021-25, £158,026
  • (PI) China Scholarship Council/Exeter PhD Scholarship to Hao Meng, 2021-25, £137k
  • (PI) EPSRC IAA Impact and Knowledge Exchange Award, 2018, £33,995
  • (PI) EPSRC DTG PhD Studentship to Rikke Morrish, 2016-20, £102,238
  • (PI) EPSRC First Grant EP/M028739/1, 2015-17, £114,916
  • Wellcome Trust ISSF2 Seed-Corn Fund Round 7, 2020, £10k
  • Wellcome Trust ISSF2 Seed-Corn Fund Round 5, 2018, £9,986

Facilities Usage

  • (PI) UK Diamond Light Source, 2-6 Mar 2021, 15 shifts of 8 hours, £75,360
  • UK National Ion Beam Centre University of Surrey, 1 Jan - 30 Nov 2017, 24 hours, £11,693
  • (PI) LASERLAB EUROPE, LENS002120, 13 Jul - 6 Aug 2015, 18 shifts of 9 hours, €14,592

Recent Invited Talks

  • Keynote: BioBrillouin 2024 Conference, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway, 11-13 Sep 2024
  • Keynote: BiomedEng24 Conference, Queen Mary University of London, 5-6 Sep 2024
  • 20th European Conference on Spectroscopy of Biological Molecules (ECSBM), Lodz, Poland, 1-5 Sep 2024, declined
  • Keynote: SPEC 2024 Conference, Ioannina, Greece, 2-6 Jun 2024
  • Dept Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Italy, 20 Nov 2023
  • SciX 2023 Conference, Nugget Casino Resort, Sparks NV, 8-13 Oct 2023
  • Royal Society UK-Brazil bilateral international meeting, London, 11-12 Oct 2023, declined
  • VISPEC 2023 Training School, University of Perugia, Italy, 12-14 Jun 2023
  • Optics and Photonics Research Group, University of Nottingham, 30 Nov 2022
  • 1st SPIE-CLP Conference on Advanced Photonics, Hangzhou, China, 21-23 Nov 2022
  • 6th BioBrillouin Meeting (BBM6), Lyon, France, 14-17 Nov 2022
  • VISPEC 2022 Meeting, online, 7 Oct 2022
  • 8th International School of Sound and Light, Saint Pierre d'Oléron, France, 12-23 Sep 2022
  • ICO25 & OWLS16 General Congress, Technische Universitat Dresden, Germany, 5-9 Sep 2022
  • 19th European Conference on the Spectroscopy of Biological Molecules (ECSBM), Reims, 29 Aug - 1 Sep 2022

Advisory Board, Program Committee, and Panel Membership

  • Advisory Board of EPSRC Programme Grant "U-care" (PI: Prof. Robert Thomson, Heriot Watt) EP/T020903/1, 2021-5, £6.13M 
  • Translational Committee of "Optica Biophotonics Congress: Biomedical Optics", Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA, 7-10/04/2024 
  • Program Committee of "Optical Elastography and Tissue Biomechanics IX" conference, BiOS Photonics West, San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Chair of SPIE Photonex 2022, Birmingham, UK, 6-8/12/2022
  • Steering Committee of the Workshop on OptoMechanics and Brillouin scattering: fundamentals, Applications and Technology (WOMBAT), Campinas, Brazil, 5-8/02/2024
  • Scientific Committee of the 6th BioBrillouin Meeting (BBM6), Lyon, France, 14-17/11/2022
  • Scientific Committee of Son et Lumière School, Oléron Island, France, 12-23/09/2022
  • Technical Programme Committee of ICO25 & OWLS16 General Congress, Dresden, Germany, 5-9/09/2022
  • Wellcome Trust, Data Sciences, Tools and Technology Discovery Advisory Group
  • CRUK, EDx Biology, Markers, Technology and Data
  • CRUK, Early Detection and Diagnosis Panel
  • CRUK, Multidisciplinary Expert Review Panel
  • EPSRC, Physical Sciences Panel
  • European Commission, Horizon 2020

Organised Conferences

  • 6th BioBrillouin Meeting (BBM6), Lyon, 14-17/11/2022
  • 5th BioBrillouin Meeting (BBM5), online, 12-14/10/2021
  • (Chair) 4th BioBrillouin Meeting (BBM4), online, 9-11/09/2020
  • 3rd BioBrillouin Meeting (BBM3), Porto, 25-27/09/2019
  • 2nd BioBrillouin Meeting (BBM2), Perugia, 12-14/09/2018
  • 13th Martin & Willis Student Prize Meeting and IRDG Meeting 210, Exeter, 26-27/08/2015
  • CLIRSPEC Network Conference, Exeter, 20-22/04/2015

Outreach

  • School workshop with Exeter Science Centre, Sidmouth College, 14/07/2021
  • Public Engagement Programme with Exeter Science Centre, 2021
  • Talk at Cancer Research UK Live event, Exeter, 10/10/2018
  • International Day of Light - EUOPS, Exeter Princesshay, 16/05/2018
  • Lead organiser of RSC ChemNet event, University of Exeter, 14/12/2015

Memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
  • Member of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy (SAS)

Recent Prizes

  • Above & Beyond Award for fantastic talk at the ESE Faculty Launch, 10/03/2023
  • High quality presentation at SPIE Photonics West BiOS 2020, Conference 11252, $250
  • Above & Beyond Award for first class research talk at Physics@Exeter, 02/03/2020, £250
  • Best PhD Supervisor, Students' Guild Teaching Award, 31/07/2019
  • Above & Beyond Award for support and collegiality, Exeter, 12/04/2019, £250
  • Above & Beyond Silver Award for research achievements, Exeter, 24/07/2018, £2k
  • Inspirational leader and role model, International Women's Day committee, Exeter, 02/02/2018
  • Best Undergraduate Supervisor, Students' Guild Teaching Award, 06/06/2017

Training Courses

  • Aurora Leadership Programme 2017
  • First Aid at Work Course, OneLife Training 2023
  • First Aid at Work Course, St John Ambulance 2015

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Publications

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  • Paolantoni M, Sassi P, Palombo F, Morresi A, Paliani G, Cataliotti RS. (2004) H-bonding and depolarized Rayleigh scattering spectra: comparison between 1-octanol and n-octane liquid systems, XVIII National Congress GNSR (National Group of Discussion on Raman Spectroscopy and Non Linear Effects), Perugia, 17th - 19th Sep 2003.
  • Sassi P, Paolantoni M, Cataliotti RS, Palombo F, Morresi A. (2004) Water/alcohol mixtures: A spectroscopic study of the water-saturated 1-octanol solution, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, volume 108, no. 50, pages 19557-19565, DOI:10.1021/jp046647d.

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