Current Members

Group Leader

Dr Ruchi Gupta
School of Chemistry
Haworth Building
University of Birmingham



Dr. Shirsendu Mitra was born and raised in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. He received a B.Sc. degree in chemistry and a B.Tech. degree in chemical engineering from the University of Calcutta, India, in 2010 and 2013, respectively. After his B.Tech, he worked in Akzo Nobel India Limited, Bangalore as a production supervisor in Coil and Extrusion industrial coating plant. At this juncture, he decided to move on with his research career and joined the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati in 2014 as a PhD Research Scholar and completed PhD in March 2020. He had been working as an Early Career Postdoctoral Fellow at the Discipline of Physics, Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar since October 2020 and until joining the University of Birmingham as a Research Associate. So far, he has worked in the fields of active particle motion, computational and experimental electrokinetics, bio-sensing, and active matter physics. He has a lot of interest in teaching and delivering fundamentals of research ideas in several academic and non-academic forums. 

Leanne Kellermann, born and raised in South Africa, completed her IGCSE education in the Middle East when her family immigrated to Doha, Qatar. She obtained her bachelor’s (BSc) in Chemistry and Polymer Science and Masters (MIng) in Chemical Engineering at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Thereafter she stepped into industry for three years focussing on research and product development; working at an African mining company and The Ocean Cleanup in the Netherlands. She then returned to academia and obtained her PhD at Stellenbosch University in Polymer Science with a project titled: Hydrogels as male contraceptives. This entailed the development of a novel, injectable, biocompatible, and dynamic hydrogel for the use as a vas occlusive device. She joined the Gupta group, as a Research Fellow, in July 2022 to work on hydrogel synthesis for cancer detection.

PhD Students

Second Year

Duilio Didona was born and grew up in Rome. He has received a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering and a Master’s degree in Nanotechnology from Sapienza University of Rome. The topic of his Master’s degree thesis was drug delivery by means of liposomes. In September 2020 he joined Dr Ruchi Gupta’s group as a PhD student. The project he works on is focused on the development of an optical interferometric biosensor integrated with microchip electrophoresis for applications in point-of-care diagnostics.

First Year

Aulia Hapsari was born and grew up in Indonesia. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia. She continued her master’s degree in chemistry at the same university with a thesis project focused on the fabrication of polyelectrolyte complex film for the release of an antioxidant. In 2018, she joined the Department of Chemistry, Universitas Gadjah Mada as a lecturer and a researcher. In June 2022, she started her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Ruchi Gupta. Her study will focus on developing leaky waveguide (LW) biosensors integrated with isotachophoresis (ITP) for DNA detection.

Bushra Alhenaki was born and grew up in Saudi Arabia. After graduating from the Qassim University with a First-Class Honor in Chemistry (BSc) Bushra began working as a lecturer of Analytical Chemistry in the same university. In 2019, she obtained her MSc degree in Analytical Chemistry from King Saud University, Saudi Arabia. Her studies focused on Chromatography Techniques.  She began working with Dr. Ruchi Gupta’s team as a PhD student in 2022. The microfludic synthesis of NPs for biosensing will be the main emphasis of her endeavour. She will investigate leaky waveguide (LW) excited nanoplasmonic biosensors and will involve synthesis of nanoparticles (NPs) using microflidics.