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Impressions from the KeyserLab


2017 Christmas Dinner with DNA cookies (Thank you Diana)

2017 June - Michael and Nikita leaving drinks, thank you for the work. Good luck in your next positions! Drinks at Castle pub, 16/6/2017

All the best for the future at TTP consulting (MIW) and at Berkley (NH)!

2017 November - Elisa, PhD hat No. XIII, Congratulations! 21/11/2017

All the best for your next job at IBM in Ruschlikon.

2017 May - Jinglin, PhD hat No. XII, Congratulations! Drinks in Brewhouse, 11/5/2017

2017 February - Michael, PhD hat No. XI, Congratulations! Drinks in Red Bull Pub, 24/2/2017

2017 January - Kerstin, PhD hat No. X, Congratulations! 10/1/2017

All the best for the future wherever you will go!


2016 September - Dr Nicholas A. W. Bell, actually left to join the other place! 2/9/2016

All the best for the future - Nick was with us since 2010! Amazing success during 3 years as PhD and Postdoc. We wish that you choose your next projects as wisely as before. Thank you Nick! The group worried about your energy levels ... enjoy ...

2016 September - Karolis, PhD hat No. IX, (first in Maxwell) and viva drinks at Fort St. George, Congratulations! 2/9/2016

All the best for the future - Dr. Misiunas!

2016 June - New group photo and group trip 10-14 June

2016 February - Start of new lunch seminar series - Pizza and science

Room 980A in Rutherford is getting crowded

2016 January - Maria's last day in the Rutherford offices

2016 January - Moving office into the Maxwell


2015 November - Jehangir, PhD hat No. VIII, and viva drinks at Fort St. George, Congratulations! 3/11/2015

"As physicists we are reductionists ..." could be true ...

All the best for the future - Dr. Cama!

2015 September - Vivek leaving Dinner at Carpenters Arms 23/10/2015

All the best for the future at EPFL!

2015 June, Irene, Madhavi and Nadanai leaving Dinner Cocum and drinks at Isaac Newton 26/07/2015

All the best for the future at Nottingham, Johns Hopkins and EPFL!

2015 - June, group retreat to Glasgow/Claonaig, Kintyre, Scotland 26-29/6/2015

2015 June - Nadanai, PhD hat No. VII, Congratulations Dr. Laohakunakorn! 19/06/2015

2014 December - Oliver Pambos, PhD "hat" No. VI, Congratulations Dr. Pambos! 15/12/2014

2014 November - Prof Muthukumar leaving drinks Granta Pub 21/11/2014

2014 September - Stefano leaving drinks Granta Pub 26/9/2014

2014 June - Group trip to Barcelona 05/6/2014-09/6/2014

06/06/2014 Talks at Mini-Symposium organised by Miguel Rubi at U Barcelona

06/06/2014 Visit to ICFO

07/06/2014 Journal club and science discussions on the beach

08/06/2014 Some sightseeing

2014 May - Vivek Thacker, PhD hat No. V, viva celebrations at Brewhouse 27/05/2014

2014 May - Making of a PhD hat for Vivek Thacker 26/05/2014

2014 February - Nick Bell, PhD hat No. IV, viva celebrations at Castle 12/02/2014


2013 December - Christmas Bowling and Dinner 12/12/2013

2013 September - Sandip gets a new hat (Sandip leaving dinner) 21/09/2013

2013 September - Leverhulme Lecture 3 16/09/2013

2013 September - Simon Leaving Dinner (Flammkuchen and Kaiserschmarrn) 13/09/2013

2013 August - Group Retreat 23/08/2013

2013 August - "Jana Gana Mana" Dinner for Indian Independence Day 16/08/2013

2013 July - Sandip Leverhulme Lecture (30deg outside) 15/07/2013

2013 May - New football table 31/05/2013

2013 May - Inaugural Cricket evening 20/05/2013

2013 May - Stefano enjoying the one day of summer

2013 Lent Term Dinner 21/3/2013


2012 Christmas Dinner 13/12/2012

2012 Catalin Chimerel, PhD hat No. III, drinks (Castle) 29/10/2012

2012 Spanish Dinner 3/6/2012

2012 Group photo 16/3/2011


2011 Nanopore workshop in London 14/12/2011

2011 Oliver Otto, PhD hat No. II, post viva drinks (Castle) 29/11/2011

2011 Group Trip to Edale 23-25/09/2011

some talks/work


2011 Lorenz Steinbock with PhD hat I., drinks at Maypol) 19/09/2011

2011 Lent term dinner 23/03/2011

2011 Birthday Party Stefano and Oliver 26/01/2011


2010 Michaelmas term dinner 26/10/2010

2010 Group Trip Summer school in Berder, France 26/08/2010

2010 Lent term dinner 18/03/2010

Fabian farewell and Oliver's birthday party 19/01/2010

Christmas party 6/12/2009

Dinner Nanosci E+ meeting 22/10/2009

Dinner German general election 27/09/2009

Punting September 2009

Punting with Huppert group July 2009


4/2/2021 Publications to start the new year!
Welcome to 2021 that hopefully allows us to return to normal. We are still active in the lab! Jinbo and our collaborators from the Nitschke group show that metalorganic cages can be used to tune the kinetics of DNA strand displacement reactions. Check out the nice results in Nano Letters. With our glass nanopores, Kaikai detects small oligo-labels on DNA that were attached by methyltransferases from the Weinhold Lab. Our position resolution approaches a few 10bp nowas shown in ACS nano. Our work on transport through porous 2D materials are put into context in a nice review that Mustafa published in J.Phys.D.

5/10/2020 Sarah and Mohammed join as PhD students. Welcome!

Sarah joins our nanopore sensing efforts funded by NanoDTC and ONT.

Mohammed is a Sensors CDT PhD who will work on DNA nanotechnology and nanopore sensing.

29/9/2020 Jeff defends his PhD thesis

Jeff defended his PhD thesis on Tuesday 29/9. Congratulations! Jeff will start a postdoctoral position in Paris. Good luck!

25/9/2020 Nikki moves to Harvard. All the best!

After three years of great work Nikki will move back to North America joining Harvard in a postdoctoral position. We wish you a great start and a productive time after quarantine in Canada!

05/8/2020 Summer Update
After the closure of the Cavendish Lab in March 2020 it has finally reopened since Mid June. Despite the lock-down we have published new research:
Diana built a DNA enzyme with lipid flipping rates tuned by structure published in Nano Letters. A collaboration with the Pagliara Lab and others from Exeter - lead by Jehangir - introduces a new Lab Chip system to study drug uptake in single bacteria. Finally, Michael published parts of his finished PhD (congrats!) in BBA-Biomembranes.
We also celebrated the successful completion of three PhDs over the last months with Nik, Michael and Will all now starting life in new (postdoc) jobs. Good luck and thank you very much for your great work!

01/5/2020 Published in Science Advances: Direct detection of molecular intermediates from first-passage times

We show for a diverse range of experimental systems that analysis of dynamics can reveal details of a governing energy landscape, in collaboration with the Bayley group and Ritort group relying on the theoretical analysis by Anatoly Kolomeisky. Great work with great collaborators, Alice!

30/3/2020 Published online in Nano Letters: Nanopore-Based DNA Hard Drives for Rewritable and Secure Data Storage

Kaikai, Jinbo and Filip introduce DNA Hard Drives: rewritable digital storage in DNA that can be read with our solid-state nanopores and easily assembled without synthesis from existing building blocks. In addition without the correct key data cannot be read! Phy.Org featured our work in an excellent article by Anna Demming.

19/3/2020 Published in Applied Materials Today: Aerosol-jet printing facilitates the rapid prototyping of microfluidic devices withversatile geometries and precise channel funct
Kareem and Jehangir worked with the lab of Sohini Kar-Narayan in (Materials) to improve printing of microfluidics. Congratulations!

31/12/2019 Published in ACS nano: Tunable Anion Selective Transport through Mono-Layer Graphene and Hexagonal Boron Nitride

Great end and start to new year! We have shown controllable anion and cation selectivity through monolayer graphene and hexagonal boron nitride and modelled the selective ionic transport. Made possible with a collaboration between HofmannGroup and ZettlGroup.

16/12/2019 Published in PNAS: Optimizing Brownian escape rates by potential shaping

Increasing the height of activation barriers can *accelerate* reactions, rather than slow them down. We show experimentally and theoretically in collaboration with the Trizac lab how Arrhenius/Kramers scaling breaks down for certain barrier shapes. Great work, Jannes and a big thank you to the NanoTrans EU-ITN-training network for funding the work.

28/11/2019 Published in Nanotechnology: Noise properties of rectifying and non-rectifying nanopores

Stuart studied the properties of glass nanopores as components in an ionic circuits, showing that while net conduction is bulk dominated, noise is surface dominated. Great work!

5/11/2019 Published in Nano Letters: All-optical detection of neuronal membrane depolarization in live cells using colloidal quantum dots

Mus and Raj collaborated with members from the Rao, Greenham and Franze labs to show that neuronal potentials can be detected with calibrated quantum dots. Great!

23/10/2019 Published in Nucleic Acids Research: Controlling aggregation of cholesterol-modified DNA nanostructures

DNA nanopores for lipid membranes just got more versatile as we can now build systems that control aggregation by designed nucleic acid overhangs. Congratulations Alex and a big thank you to the Aksimentiev Lab for MD simulations and Ranson lab for TEM imaging of our small DNA nanostructures!

11/10/2019 Published in Nano Letters: Monitoring G-Quadruplex Formation with DNA Carriers and Solid-State Nanopores

Filip published part of his MPhil thesis where he uses our glass nanopres for the detection of (un-)folded G-quadruplexes in double-stranded DNA. Congratulations!

11/9/2019 Published in Applied Physics Letters: Cation dependent electroosmotic flow in glass nanopores

Jeff collaborated with Prof Kurt Andresen. We show that cations have unexpected effects on electro-osmotic flows in nanopores. Congrats for being Editor's Pick for issue 11.

26/7/2019 Published in Nano Letters: Current Enhancement in Solid-State Nanopores Depends on Three-Dimensional DNA Structure

Vivian and Nik show that the current enhancement observed in glass nanopores depends on three-dimensional structure of DNA orgiami. Excellent results from Vivian's MPhil project!

8/7/2019 Published online JACS: FeII4L4 Tetrahedron Binds to Nonpaired DNA Bases

Together with the (Nitschke Group) Jinbo shows that their coordination cages are suitable for the all-optical detection of unpaired bases in DNA. Congratulations!

1/7/2019 NEW paper in Phys. Rev. Lett.: Nonlinear Electrophoresis of Highly Charged Nonpolarizable Particles

In a successful collaboration with Douwe Bonthuis (Graz) Soichiro shows that non-linear electrophoresis is real and can lead to a new way of trapping particles beyong dielectrophoresis. Congratulations!

30/5/2019 NEW paper in Phys. Rev. Lett.: Density-Dependent Speed-up of Particle Transport in Channels

Karolis uses hydrodynamic and electrophoretic forces to understand and model stochastic transport in single-file channels. A video explaining the experiments can be found here. Congratulations!

11/02/2019 Just published in Lab on a Chip:

Kareem and our collaborators from NPL and Delft introduce a novel platform for the characterisation of animicrobial peptides in Lab on a Chip!

4/1/2019 For the new year we just published our first paper in Nature Communications: Experimental evidence of symmetry breaking of transition-path times

In a collaboration with Felix Ritort, Jannes showed that transition-path times can be investigates and their symmetry broken in mesoscopic and microscopic systems. Congratulations!

27/12/2018 Just published in Nano Letters: Digital Data Storage Using DNA Nanostructures and Solid-State Nanopores

Kaikai, Jinglin, Jinbo and Nik show their new approach for data storage using nanopore sensing with DNA carriers. Highlighted here on Nanowerk!

27/11/2018 Just published in Adv. Func. Mat.: Two-step sensing enhanced nanopore sensing.

Jinglin, Kaikai and Jinbo show their new approach for nanopore sensing with DNA carriers. Congratulations!

8/10/2018 Ran Tivony, Marcus Fletcher, Stuart Knowles and Filip Boskovic join the lab. Welcome.

Ran is a Blavatnik fellow and will investigate membrane transport using microfluidic approaches.

Marcus is a PhD student who will work on physics of lipid membrane transport and AMPs in a collaboration with NPL.

Stuart is a PhD student who will work on the physics of transport through channels.
Filip joins as MPhil student working on protein sensing using glass nanopores and DNA nanotechnology.

21/09/2018 New Part III projects! Check out the selection of our exciting Part III projects for the academic year starting October 2018. If you are interested please get in touch with Ulrich (ufk20 (at)

21/06/2018 Just published in Nature Comm.: An artificial structure made from DNA flips lipids at record rates.

Alex published his work on an artificial enzyme that flips lipids in biological membranes. For more details on our journey from idea to the paper check out Alex' blog post. Congrats Alex and a big thank you goes to everybody in the Aksimentiev Group at Urbana-Champaign for the great collaboration!

02/06/2018 Just published in Nano Letters: Machine learning for complex nanopore data.

Karolis and Nik published their work on neuronal nets for DNA barcode analysis in Nano Letters. QuipuNet can analyze even folded data and increases the number of events by a factor of 5. Congratulations!

21/05/2018 PhD hat for Yizhou. Congratulations.

Yizhou passed his viva with minor corrections. Congratulations. Balancing the hat and getting more presents ... Well done and all the best for the future!

12/2/2018 New paper on voltage sensing with DNA origami out in Nano Letters Congratulations to Elisa and Clare for the great work.

12/1/2018 Alex Ohmann wins Poster Prize at Cavendish Research Day Congratulations!

Alex presented his recent work on how to build artificial enzymes with DNA self-assembly that flip lipids in biological membranes. More details on his research can be found here in our preprint.

1/10/2017 Nikki Weckman, Diana Sobota, and Adrian Leathers join the lab. Welcome.

Nikki joins our nanopore sensing efforts as a postdoctoral researcher.

Diana is a Winton PhD fellow who will develop novel DNA nanostructures for membranes.

Adrian is a visiting ERASMUS student from EPFL who will work on the physics of channels.

14/12/2016 Abdus Salam price for PhD work of Kerstin Goepfrich.

Kerstin won 2016 Abdus Salam price for her work on DNA nanopores and channels. Great work and excellent presentation. Well deserved success and recognition of your work over the last 4 years.

30/11/2016 NanoDTC associate status for Niklas Ermann

PhD student Niklas Ermann applied with a research proposal to the NanoDTC programme. After a competition with tens of other applicants Niklas was admitted to the NanoCDT associates programme. He will benefit from access to travel funding for visiting conferences. Congratulations for the great presentation and convincing the voters of your project.

22/6/2016 Building an ion channel out of a single DNA double helix. (Nano Letters)

Image 01
Kerstin shows in recent paper that a single DNA helix with hydrophobic modifications can be used to build the smallest DNA based ion channel ever. Congratulations.

26/11/2016 PhD student Kerstin Goepfrich tests the MinION sequencer for BBC radio programme

Kerstin analysed the DNA found in a fruit smoothie with the handheld sequencer developed by Oxford Nanopore Technolgy. You can download the recording and a brief description of the programme and results here.

4/4/2016 DNA carriers enable multiplexed protein detection published in Nature Nanotechnology

Image 01
Our work on enhancing nanopore sensing with DNA nanotechnology is published today in Nature Nanotechnology. Great work Nick.

15/7/2015Nondecaying hydrodynamic interactions published in Physical Review Letters

Karolis' paper on long range interaction sin tightly confining channels is published in PRL. Great work and important addition to our understanding of hydrodynamic interactions in channels.

20/4/2014 Auxetic nuclei in embryonic stem cells published in Nature Materials

Image 01

Stefano's work on probing the mechanical properties of nuclei in embryonic stem cells was published. We show that the nucleus expands when stretched and compacts when compressed, proving that natural systems can have negative Poisson ratio. OPur work was highlighted by several journals.
News and Views by Ning Wang: nature materials
Highlighted in Science: Editor's choice

7/11/2013 Goepfrich et al. make DNA based nanostructures that act like ion channels in lipid membranes.

Kerstin showed that her designed DNA strcutures can punch holes into lipid membranes. The work was published on Angewandte Chemie. Congratulations. The press release is avaialble on the U Cambridge site.
Web coverage:
azonano , e!science , sciencedaily , eurekalert , cambridgenetwork ,

4/6/2013 Work on DNA origami nanopores by Silvia Hernandez Ainsa published in ACS nano

Image 01
Silvia shows in her work how to control DNA translocation using designed DNA origami nanopores. Our work was highlighted on Genome Web.

22/4/2013 Work of Li, Bell et al. on Protein detection ACS nano highlighted on NanoWerk

Tina and Nick show experiments on detecting proteins in glass nanopores and discuss the various challenges of the technique.