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Personal profile

Research interests

Sofia Pascu is a Professor of Bioinorganic and Materials Chemistry since 1 December 2016.

She leads an interdisciplinary research group that focusses on the development and applications of new experimental techniques (synthetic and spectroscopic) to assemble and probe new functional materials for biosensing, molecular imaging of living cells, drug delivery, as well as for sustainable chemistry.

Professor Pascu has been awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant (>€1.88M, ERC-CoG-2013) to work on the project 'O2SENSE' Oxygen Sensing with Multimodality Imaging Probes (Sept 2014-Sept 2019) and she was a holder of a Royal Society University Research Fellowship over ten years, at Oxford and Bath Universities (2005-2015).

The S.I.P Research group is formed by seven PhD students, three Research Associates (2013-2018) and several undergraduate research students (MRes/MChem/BSc/Erasmus). Our research involves working at the interface between organic, physical, inorganic and supramolecular chemistries, towards applications in: sustainable chemistry (Fischer Tropsch catalysis, CO2 storage/conversion, dye-sensitised solar cells), metals in medicine and nanomedicine, and multimodal molecular imaging (optical/Positron Emission Tomography).

New materials, including functional Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes, graphene and graphene oxides and core-shell nanoparticles are synthesised and characterised in the group using optical, NMR, EPR and Raman spectroscopies, multiphoton confocal fluorescence imaging, synchrotron X-ray diffraction techniques, AFM, SEM and HRTEM techniques.

To date, research in the Pascu group was funded by the ERC, FP7 MC ITN ‘PROSENSE’, Royal Society, EPSRC, BBSRC, BP and GSK Case awards, MRC, Innovate UK (TSB, jointly with Abcam), STFC, University of Bath and Nikon Bioimaging UK Ltd.

For a full list of my published work please see: ResearcherID http://www.researcherid.com/rid/C-5236-2009


  • 1997 First class MSc in Chemistry, Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
  • 1997-1998 FCO/British Chevening Scholarship, St Catherine’s College Oxford.
  • 1998-2002 Devorguilla Scholarship, Balliol College, Oxford
  • July 2001: Ph.D. in Main Group Organometallic Chemistry, Cluj-Napoca, Romania (Supervisor: Professor Ionel Haiduc. Joint project with Dr Bryan Sowerby, funded by British Council, University of Nottingham)
  • March 2004: D.Phil. in Transition Metal Catalysis (Supervisor: Professor Malcolm L. H. Green FRS)
  • 2002-2003 Research Associate in homogeneous Fischer Tropsch chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, Oxford University, with Professor Malcolm L.H. Green FRS.
  • 2003-2005 Research Associate in Supramolecular Chemistry, Chemistry Department, Cambridge University with Professor Jeremy K. M. Sanders FRS and Professor Andrew Holmes FRS
  • 2005-2007 Draper’s Company Research Fellowship, St Anne’s College Oxford and MA(oxon) by incorporation.
  • 2005-2015 Royal Society URF (Oxford University, 2005-2007 and Bath University, 2007-2015).
  • October 2010: Royal Society URF and Lecturer, University of Bath.
  • November 2013: Promoted to Reader, University of Bath
  • 1 September 2014 - 30 August 2019: ERC Consolidator Grantee (ERC-CoG-2013, O2SENSE Research Programme)
  • November 2016: Promoted to a personal Chair in Bioinorganic and Materials Chemistry. 

Willing to supervise PhD

Education/Academic qualification

Inorganic Chemistry, Doctor of Philosophy, University of Oxford


  • Inorganic chemistry
  • Nanotechnology
  • Coordination chemistry
  • Supramolecular Chemistry
  • Homogeneous catalysis
  • Materials
  • Optical Imaging
  • Sustainable Chemistry
  • Molecular Recognition
  • Radiochemistry
  • Metal complexes
  • medicinal chemistry
  • peptides chemistry
  • Metals in medicine
  • nanomaterials
  • nanomedicine
  • main group chemistry
  • transition metals chemistry
  • spectroscopy

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Sofia Pascu is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Projects 2007 2020

Optical Imaging
Single-Photon Emission-Computed Tomography
Atomic layer deposition
Hydrogen storage
Organic light emitting diodes (OLED)
Epitaxial growth
Biocompatible Materials
Imaging techniques
Prostatic Neoplasms
Tumor Biomarkers
Biosensing Techniques

Research Output 1997 2019

Self‐ and Directed‐Assembly of Metallic and Nonmetallic Fluorophors: Considerations into Graphene and Graphene Oxides for Sensing and Imaging Applications

Calatayud, D. G., Cortezon Tamarit, F., Mao, B., Mirabello, V. & Pascu, S. I., 23 Aug 2019, Handbook of Graphene. Celasco, E., Chaika, A. N., Stauber, T., Zhang, M., Ozkan, C., Ozkan, C., Ozkan, U., Palys, B. & Harun, S. W. (eds.). Wiley, p. 469-505 37 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Zirconium-89 radio-nanochemistry and its applications towards the bioimaging of prostate cancer

Cortezon-Tamarit, F., Baryzewska, A., Lledos, M. & Pascu, S. I., 1 Oct 2019, In : Inorganica Chimica Acta. 496, 119041.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Citations (Scopus)
64 Downloads (Pure)

Correction: Microwave gallium-68 radiochemistry for kinetically stable bis(thiosemicarbazone) complexes: Structural investigations and cellular uptake under hypoxia (Dalton Transactions (2016) 45 (144-155))

Alam, I. S., Arrowsmith, R. L., Cortezon-Tamarit, F., Twyman, F., Kociok-Köhn, G., Botchway, S. W., Dilworth, J. R., Carroll, L., Aboagye, E. O. & Pascu, S. I., 28 Feb 2016, In : Dalton Transactions. 45, 8, p. 3650 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
5 Citations (Scopus)
98 Downloads (Pure)

Interactions between an aryl thioacetate-functionalized Zn(II) porphyrin and graphene oxide

Mao, B., Calatayud, D. G., Mirabello, V., Hodges, B. J., Martins, J. A. R., Botchway, S. W., Mitchels, J. M. & Pascu, S. I., 2 Feb 2016, In : Advanced Functional Materials. 26, 5, p. 687-697

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Atomic force microscopy
3 Citations (Scopus)
74 Downloads (Pure)

Labeling of graphene, graphene oxides, and of their congeners: imaging and biosensing applications of relevance to cancer theranostics

Tyson, J. A., Calatayud, D. G., Mirabello, V., Mao, B. & Pascu, S. I., 2016, In : Advances in Inorganic Chemistry. 68, p. 397-440

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Imaging techniques
Single photon emission computed tomography


Development of new bis(thiosemicarbazonates) and investigations into their potential as molecular imaging and therapeutic agents

Author: Arrowsmith, R., 1 Feb 2013

Supervisor: Pascu, S. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Encapsulation and Targeted Delivery of Metallic Species for Biomedical Imaging via Functionalised Carbon Nanotubes Nanocarriers

Author: Hu, Z., 31 Dec 2013

Supervisor: Pascu, S. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Investigations into New Functionalised Thiosemicarbazones and Related Carbon Nanohybrids for the Imaging of Prostate Cancer

Author: Cortezon Tamarit, F., 1 Mar 2017

Supervisor: Pascu, S. (Supervisor), Estrela, P. (Supervisor), Tyrrell, R. (Supervisor) & Frost, C. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

Investigations into the Radiochemistry of Gallium- and Fluorine-Containing Compounds for Molecular Imaging Applications

Author: Sarpaki, S., 1 May 2019

Supervisor: Pascu, S. (Supervisor) & Eggleston, I. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

Investigations into the supramolecular chemistry of graphene biocomposites: Towards prostate cancer theranostics design, imaging and biosensing

Author: Tyson, J., 23 Nov 2016

Supervisor: Pascu, S. (Supervisor), Estrela, P. (Supervisor), Marken, F. (Supervisor), Tyrrell, R. (Supervisor) & Botchway, S. W. (External person) (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD