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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 doctoral students

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

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  • Research Output

    Radio- and nano-chemistry of aqueous Ga(III) ions anchored onto graphene oxide-modified complexes

    Sarpaki, S., Cortezon-Tamarit, F., De Aguiar, S. R. M. M., Exner, R. M., Divall, D., Arrowsmith, R. L., Ge, H., Palomares, F. J., Carroll, L., Calatayud, D. G., Paisey, S. J., Aboagye, E. O. & Pascu, S. I., 28 Mar 2020, In : Nanoscale. 12, 12, p. 6603-6608 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access

    Shedding Light Onto the Nature of Iron Decorated Graphene and Graphite Oxide Nanohybrids for CO2 Conversion at Atmospheric Pressure

    Owen, R., Cortezon Tamarit, F., Gonzalez Calatayud, D., Evans, E. A., Mitchell, S. I. J., Mao, B., Palomares, F. J., Mitchels, J., Plucinski, P., Mattia, D., Jones, M. & Pascu, S., 14 Feb 2020, In : ChemistryOpen. 9, 2, p. 242-252 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access

    Detection and monitoring prostate specific antigen using nanotechnology approaches to biosensing

    Perry, G., Cortezon-Tamarit, F. & Pascu, S. I., 13 Jul 2019, In : Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering. 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Open Access
    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Development of a peptide-based fluorescent probe for biological heme monitoring

    Newton, L. D., Pascu, S. I., Tyrrell, R. M. & Eggleston, I. M., 21 Jan 2019, In : Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry. 17, 3, p. 467-471 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    3 Citations (Scopus)

    Directed Molecular Stacking for Engineered Fluorescent Three-Dimensional Reduced Graphene Oxide and Coronene Frameworks

    Mao, B., Cortezon-Tamarit, F., Ge, H., Kuganathan, N., Mirabello, V., Palomares, F. J., Kociok-Köhn, G., Botchway, S. W., Calatayud, D. G. & Pascu, S. I., 31 Dec 2019, In : ChemistryOpen. 8, 12, p. 1383-1398 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    1 Citation (Scopus)