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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 Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Projects 2007 2019

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 2018

Encapsulation of Cadmium Selenide Nanocrystals in Biocompatible Nanotubes: DFT Calculations, X-ray Diffraction Investigations, and Confocal Fluorescence Imaging

Calatayud, D. G., Ge, H., Kuganathan, N., Mirabello, V., Jacobs, R. M. J., Rees, N. H., Stoppiello, C. T., Khlobystov, A. N., Tyrrell, R. M., Como, E. D. & Pascu, S. I. 1 Feb 2018 In : ChemistryOpen. 7, 2, p. 144-158

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Discrete Fourier transforms

Novel rhenium(V) nitride complexes with dithiocarbimate ligands: A synchrotron X-ray and DFT structural investigation

Perils, J., Cortezon-Tamarit, F., Kuganathan, N., Kociok-Köhn, G., Dilworth, J. R. & Pascu, S. I. 24 Apr 2018 In : Inorganica Chimica Acta. 475, p. 142-149

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Discrete Fourier transforms

Synthesis, radiolabelling and in vitro imaging of multifunctional nanoceramics

Lledos, M., Mirabello, V., Sarpaki, S., Ge, H., Smugowski, H. J., Carroll, L., Aboagye, E. O., Aigbirhio, F. I., Botchway, S. W., Dilworth, J. R., Gonzalez Calatayud, D., Plucinski, P., Price, G. & Pascu, S. 1 Apr 2018 In : ChemNanoMat. 4, 4, p. 361-372

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Imaging techniques
Silicon Dioxide
Molecular imaging
1 Citations

The chemistry of PET imaging with zirconium-89

Dilworth, J. R. & Pascu, S. I. 21 Apr 2018 In : Chemical Society Reviews. 47, 8, p. 2554-2571 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Imaging techniques
2 Citations

Behavior of Supramolecular Assemblies of Radiometal-Filled and Fluorescent Carbon Nanocapsules In Vitro and In Vivo

Ge, H., Riss, P. J., Mirabello, V., Calatayud, D. G., Flower, S. E., Arrowsmith, R. L., Fryer, T. D., Hong, Y., Sawiak, S., Jacobs, R. M. J., Botchway, S. W., Tyrrell, R. M., James, T. D., Fossey, J. S., Dilworth, J. R., Aigbirhio, F. I. & Pascu, S. I. 14 Sep 2017 In : Chem. 3, 3, p. 437-460

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Carbon Nanotubes
Optical Imaging