About us


Dr Al Edwards- Principal Investigator

With a background in fundamental immunology combined with expertise in biochemical engineering, I am an interdisciplinary researcher focused on solving current and future healthcare challenges using an engineering science approach that combines a range of fields from biology, biochemistry, chemistry and physics. I work at the interface between academic technology discovery and industrial development and have experience of both fundamental research and the commercialisation of new technology.



Jessica Hayward – Research Associate

My background has been based around medical microbiology. I worked in the NHS for 16 years, most recently as a Specialist Biomedical Scientist in microbiology. Following that I moved into industry where I worked as a Production Scientist and Quality Control Scientist for a diagnostic products manufacturer for food and clinical laboratories. My current role is as a Research Associate working on a project to develop a rapid antimicrobial test using microfluidics which can be used as a point-of-care test in clinical settings.


Dr Sarah Needs – Postdoctoral Research Associate

I am a multidisciplinary researcher, passionate about diagnostics. My current role looks at miniaturising antimicrobial resistance testing for use in a healthcare setting, using rapid prototyping techniques to make a whole diagnostic system from the physical test, sample processing to reader and analysis.





Rüya Meltem SARIYER – PhD Student
I completed a bachelor’s degree in Bioengineering and a master’s degree in Occupational Health and Safety, in Turkey. I worked as an Occupational Safety Specialist for 3 years. In 2020, I joined Dr. Edwards’ lab, and my current research topic is rapid tests of platelet function for the epidemiology of cardiovascular health and disease.



Matt Long – PhD Student

I completed a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and a Master’s degree in Veterinary Epidemiology. During my Master’s degree, I specialised in the epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in livestock farming, submitting a thesis studying the risk factors for AMR and the association of antimicrobial usage and the presence of AMR genes in bacterial isolates. This has led me to pursue my current PhD studentship with Dr Al Edwards which is aiming to produce a rapid diagnostic test for AMR in dairy farming using microfluidics and smartphone technology to monitor resistance genes.





Past Members

Tai The Diep – PhD Student

I completed master degree in 2005 from University of Natural Sciences in Vietnam. Now, I’m a microbiology researcher at Pasteur Institute of HCMC, Vietnam. In 2019, I received a fellowship from the University of Reading for my PhD with Dr. Edwards. My current project is developing new tools for detection of antimicrobial resistance in human health and agriculture. In addition, I’m also working on 3D printed Raspberry Pi microscopy for testing bacteria.


Sultan İlayda DÖNMEZ – PhD Student

I completed my master’s education at Karamanoglu Mehmetbey University, Engineering Faculty, Department of Bioengineering. I also worked as a Project Assistant at TUBITAK  (Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) Project entitled as ‘Development and Characterisation of DNA Aptamers for Streptococcus pneumoniae’. My interest in biotechnology studies led me to study for my PhD with Dr Edwards. My current topic is label-free therapeutic bacterial detection and bacteriophage therapy in microfluidic systems. (sultanilayda.donmez@pgr.reading.ac.uk)


Dr Stephanie Bull – Postdoctoral Research Associate

With a degree in Chemistry from the University of Bristol, a PhD in Food Science at the University of Reading, and a successful team at the final of the Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme in 2017, I am now working in this group looking at the commercialisation of antimicrobial resistance diagnostic devices within the healthcare industry.



Dr Sophie Jegouic – Postdoctoral Research Associate

I did my PhD at the Institut Pasteur in Paris studying the recombination between polioviruses and enteroviruses. I carried on studying human and animal viruses at the University of Glasgow and at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In 2017, I joined Dr. Edwards’ lab at the University of Reading where I have been working on the development of diagnostic tests for Dengue disease and cardiovascular diseases using microfluidics and smartphones. I am also involved in the development of a MERS vaccine, in collaboration with Prof. Ian Jones (School of Biological Sciences).