Special Interview -Episode1003

Mr Gennaro Dichello
The University of Brighton, U.K.

Mr. Gennaro Dichello carries out his doctoral study at the Bio-Nano Electronics Research Centre in collaboration with Centre’s post-doctoral researchers.

Please introduce yourself and your university.

My name is Gennaro Dichello and I am a second year doctoral student from the University of Brighton (UK) who is visiting the Bio-Nano Electronics Research Centre at Toyo University. My Ph.D. is a four-year project supported by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and an industrial partner called “Pharmidex” who specializes in adsorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and neurotoxicity (ADMET) of drugs and nanomaterials within the human brain. My supervisory team includes Prof. S.Mikhalovsky, Dr. R.Whitby, Dr. Dr.Sarker and Dr. M.Alavijeh who provide me with expertise in the fields of advanced materials, nanotechnology, soft matter and the study of the blood brain barrier (BBB). Prior to embarking this journey I studied my undergraduate degree also at the University of Brighton, in the field of Pharmaceutical and chemical sciences. The degree course was truly interdisciplinary incorporating traditional chemistry with modern analytical, biological, nano, materials and formulations sciences.
            The University of Brighton was originally founded in the year of 1859 as an arts college and subsequently granted university statues in 1992. Now boasting an impressive five campuses with 21,000 students the university offers a wide range of study programs encompassing art, business, education & sport, health & social science and science & engineering. Within this framework are numerous divisions focusing on specific areas of study, I for example work within the School of Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences (PABS). Whilst there are clear differences between the interests of individual groups every year we come together as one university and share our exciting research in several student-organized conferences, essentially we are one big family!

What is your recent research topic?

My current project focuses on a truly novel area of nanotechnology that I believe will be subject to an increasing amount of interest in the near future. The goal is to demonstrate that by utilizing self-assembly as a bottom-up approach we can progress towards the in-situ manufacture of biomedical devices. Briefly, this involves investigating a range of suitable and specific covalent and non-covalent interactions that can facilitate self-assembly of nanomaterials upon promotion. This comprises the design of individual nano-components, suitable nanosystems for delivery or storage of such components and investigating mechanisms that could potentially “trigger” the self-assembly process. The overall aim of my project is to provide a “proof of concept” contributing to the establishment of this emerging area of nanotechnology.

What is your motivation to do research?

Science in general has always fascinated me from an early age, driven by my desire to understand not only what the result of a situation could be but also why such results occur. In my opinion controlling matter at the nano or near atomic scale is the ultimate goal of all materials scientists and will ultimately pave the way to a new era of technology. Already we are calling this new age “nanotechnology” and it is still in its infancy with much left to explore.

Please tell us about your life in U.K.

My life in the UK is not dissimilar to the life of a researcher at Toyo University. The majority of my working day is spent in the laboratory, carrying out investigations both independently and as part of the wider research group. It is a great atmosphere feeling part of a community at a university, even away from hard work there is never a quiet time. With so many student societies on offer most students, young and old, find something that fits in with their interests or hobbies, I personally love sport and so take part in several activities after working hours. 

Please give a message to Toyo University students considering doing research abroad.

I highly recommend going abroad for research if the opportunity arises, not only do you get to experience a new culture but you also have the opportunity to widen your research initiative and collaborations. Experience is key to furthering your career in this highly competitive field and in my opinion nothing looks more attractive to an employer than evidence of your willingness and ability to work internationally with a diverse range of scientists. Not only this but it also demonstrates you are both willing and able to take on a challenge in order to achieve your goals and aspirations.

What's it like to do research at the BNERC?

My time spent at BNERC has been truly inspirational, I have made new friends, gained valuable experience and am going to take home both exciting new results of my research and great memories. Everyone has been exceptionally welcoming and helpful for which I am truly grateful, sometimes it can be challenging when visiting an entirely new culture but honestly everyone took great care of me and I felt right at home… I will be sad to say goodbye!



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