Dr Melanie Jimenez
Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow
University of Glasgow
Dr Melanie Jimenez is currently a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow working at the University of Glasgow (Scotland, UK) on miniaturised systems, or “lab-on-chips”. Her profile is interdisciplinary, at the interface of engineering, physics and biology and her goal is to develop new tools to manipulate cells and fluids at the microscopic scale. More specifically, her research could be summarised as “finding the needle in a haystack”, where micro- and nano- technologies are engineered to characterise, detect and/or isolate small targets of interest (e.g., pathogens, cancer cells, proteins, etc). These technologies can be used for a wide range of applications; for example she has worked in collaboration with Scottish Water to isolate waterborne pathogens from drinking water and has ongoing projects to improve the detection of pathogens in blood but also endometriosis and neglected tropical diseases. A particular focus in her current research is to develop technologies that will improve patient outcomes through targeted treatment and reduce antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
Melanie also has a passion for art and science communication which has resulted in her receiving the Wellcome Trust Frontiers Innovator Award and the University of Glasgow Engaged Researcher of the Year. Engagement projects she has led include “Circuits”, a programme where new tools have been co-produced in collaboration with physics teachers to challenge the perception of engineering in schools – teachers from ~10% of Scottish secondary schools have now received and been trained to used these tools.