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NCCR Lecture series: Marina Kuimova

Marina Kuimova, Reader (Associate Professor) at Imperial College London (UK), will give the next NCCR talk entitled: “Mapping microscopic viscosity and temperature using molecular rotors” on March 2nd at UNIGE and on March 3rd at EPFL.


About the talk

Viscosity is one of the main factors which influence diffusion in condensed media. In a cell viscosity can play a role in several diffusion mediated processes, such as drug delivery, signalling and mass transport. Previously, alterations in viscosity in cells and organs have been linked to malfunction; however, mapping viscosity on a single-cell scale remains a challenge.

Marina Kuimova’s lab has imaged viscosity inside lipid mono- and bi-layers, in cells and in atmospheric aerosol particles using fluorescent probes, called molecular rotors [1,2]. In molecular rotors the speed of rotation about a sterically hindered bond is viscosity-dependent, which strongly affects fluorescence lifetime or spectra of rotors, allowing fluorescence imaging. This approach enabled to measure both the microscopic viscosity and temperature [2, 3] and monitor their temporal changes in real time. During her talk, Marina Kuimova will cover the recent developments of this technique, such as genetic and passive targeting of rotors [4, 5] and applications to monitoring neurodegeneration [6, 7].


About the speaker

Marina Kuimova is a Reader (Associate Professor) at Imperial College London. Her current research is focused on elucidation of biologically relevant processes using different types of fluorescence imaging and time-resolved spectroscopy. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a member of the Editorial Board of Methods and Applications of Fluorescence. She has received numerous awards and honors for her work, including 2011 Grammaticakis-Neumann Prize of the Swiss Chemical Society, 2009 Roscoe the Westminster Medals at the SET for Britain, UK Houses of Parliament; 2012 British Biophysical Society Young Investigator Award, 2012 Royal Society of Chemistry Harrison-Meldola Prize, 2013 ChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship, the 2014 IUPAP C6 Young Scientist Prize in Biological Physics and Society of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines Young Investigator Award, 2020.

Marina Kuimova obtained her Master’s Degree at Moscow State University (Russia), and a doctorate at the University of Nottingham (UK) under the supervision of Professor M. W. George in 2006.  Following a postdoctoral appointment with Professor David Phillips at Imperial, she became a group leader and an EPSRC Life Science Interface Fellow (in 2007) and an EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellow (in 2010). She was appointed as a lecturer in the department of Chemistry at Imperial in 2012 and promoted to a Readership in 2016.



[1] M. K. Kuimova, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2012, 14, 12671
[2] A. Vyšniauskas et al, Int. Rev. Phys. Chem. 2018, 37:2, 259
[3] A. Vyšniauskas, et al, Chem. Sci., 2015, 6, 5773
[4] J.E. Chambers et al, ACS Nano, 2018, 12, 4398
[5] M. Kubankova et al, Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 9466
[6] M. Kubankova et al, ACS Appl. Mater Interfaces, 2019, 11, 36307
[7] M. Kubankova et al, Analyt. Chem., 2019, 91, 6880


More info

UNIGE: Monday, March 02, 2020 – room: A150 – 16:15
EPFL: Tuesday March 03, 2020 – room: SV17.17– 16:15