Sonia Antoranz Contera
Co-director OMS Institute of Nanoscience for Medicine
s [dot] antoranzcontera1 [at] physics [dot] ox [dot] ac [dot] uk
(Currently, I am on maternity leave)
Sonia Contera is a tenured University Lecturer at Oxford Physics Department and co-director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Nanotechnology (former Institute of Nanoscience for Medicine) at the Oxford Martin School, co-I at the Centre for Advanced Materials at Harwell Research Centre and Senior Research Fellow at Green Templeton College Oxford.Sonia is also a frequent public speaker on the role Physics and Nanotechnology in the future of Biology and Medicine. She has recently become a member of the JSPS funded Core-to-Core programmeand the newly establishedInternational brain Mechanics and Trauma Lab.
From 2007 to 2012 she was an Academic RCUK Fellow at Oxford Physics.
Sonia graduated in Physics from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (94), then did graduate studies at Beijing Languages and Culture University (94-95) and worked as a researcher at the Czech Academy of Sciences (95, liquid-solid interfaces). Then she moved to Osaka University on a prestigious Monbushō scholarship and obtained her PhD from the Dept. of Applied Physics, Graduate School of Engineering (2000, Layered materials/scanning probe microscopy, supervisor Prof H Iwasaki). In 2000 she was awarded an E.U. Fellowship to Japan at the Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research SANKEN, Osaka University (nanostructures in bio/nanoelectronics). She became a Research Assistant Professor in 2002, at the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Centre, Univ. of Aarhus, Denmark (HIV-1 RNA tertiary structure, Nanoscience and tissue engineering approaches to improved biocompatibility). In 2003 she moved to Oxford University Bionanotechnology IRC (carbon nanotube biosensors, bionanointerfaces, and biophysics of membrane proteins, scanning probe microscopy). In 2007 she became an independent academic and RCUK Academic Fellow and in 2008 started the Institute of Nanoscience for Medicine at the Oxford Martin School, which she codirects. She is also a co-I at the Centre for Advanced Materials at Harwell Research Centre. Sonia has been a visiting professor at Kwazulu-Natal Univ. Medical Faculty, and at Tabata's Lab at Tokyo Univ. Centre for BioNano Integration; she has had research stays at Ando's lab at Kanazawa University and Moscow Lomonosov State University.
- Feb 2013: GRANT awarded by JSPS for “International Research Collaboration Network for Developing Highly Functional Sensing Devices for Health, Safety and Security", within the frame work of the JSPS Core to Core Program, for a collaboration of Osaka Univeristy's SANKEN institute for collaboration wirh labs from Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, USA, France and my lab in Oxford. 19,850,000 yen/year x 5 years.
- New MRC grant awarded "A super-resolution multi-scale in vitro and in vivo imaging platform at Harwell: building models of development and disease from molecules to mammals" as co-I (PI Marisa Martin Fenandez, STFC) £1.7 M for 5 years.
- Oxford Martin School Programme on Nanotechnology ongoing from 2008
- STFC grant Centre for Advanced Materials at Harwell Research Centre, co-I
Oxford Martin School Nanoscience for Medicine programme from 2008, ongoing.
“Advanced dynamic atomic force microscopy methods for high-resolution in vitro biomechanical assays of cancer cells” PI (EPSRC EP/H043659/1; 2010)
“Protein Coatings to prevent bacterial infections” as Principal Investigator 2012 (EU Framework 7, ),
Royal Society travel grant for High Speed AFM collaboration with Kanazawa University (2008)
[*]EPSRC Bridging the Gaps 2012 for the programme Nanocarbon-derived Materials co-I
[*]EPSRC Grant for Small Equipment (until March 2013). PI
[*]EPSRC Pathways to Impact PIA 2012 for creating a video Webchannel on Biological Physics (Until march 2013). PI.
NEWS about my activities here
Coordinator of the Doctoral Training Center 2 weeks Module on Biological Physics
DTC Modules information here
Teaching AFM and AFM practicals for the DTC Advanced Biophysics Module
Major Option C7: Biological Physics
-Protein structure and folding
Physics Today lecture (1st Year)
-Physics and the future of biology and medicine
Practical Course: Biophysics BP03*****
-Atomic Force Microscopy
(5 star student rating)
-3rd Year Mini Project: biopolymer physics with atomic force microscopy
-Graphene/lipid hybrid nanostructures
Bionanotechnology short-option. Atomic Force Microscopy
My research integrates biological physics, nanoscience and scanning probe microsocopy for biomedical applications.
Physics in biology and how it happens at the biological scales from nm to micron to macroscopic.
- Interests include: cell mechanical properties, single molecule nanomechanics, membrane protein biophysics, DNA nanomechanics, molecular motors, membrane biophysics.
Live cell mechanical comminication, shapes, sizes and growth, cells in tissues
Cell Rheology in 2D/3D culture and in tissues.
- Molecular forces in biology, physicochemical interactions at bionano-interfaces, nanostructure/biomolecule/cells interactions
- Interfaces: nanostructured surfaces/liquid-solid interfaces, nano-bio interfaces.
- Biomimetic functional materials
- (Nano)physics for medicine, (drug-delivery, tissue engineering, biosensing).
- High-resolution/high-speed/ atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning probe microscopy in biology, mechanical properties mapping.
- Force spectroscopy
Webcasts of the event "How can we capture the possibilities but avoid the pitfalls of nanotechnology?" - Next Big Thing Here
My bit is here:
26 March 2013 18:30 - 19:45 Nesta, 1 Plough Place, London, EC4A 1DE
Speaker at the Next Big Thing: This London-based event is a collaboration between the Oxford Martin School, Policy Exchange and Nesta: "How can we capture the possibilities but avoid the pitfalls of nanotechnology?" - Next Big Thing More information here
- Dr Sonia Contera, Co-Director, Oxford Martin Programme on Nanotechnology
- Dr Eric Drexler, Oxford Martin Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology
- Professor Richard Jones, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, University of Sheffield
- John Knowles, Chairman, Advisory Board, UK Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network
Chair: Jessica Bland, Technology Futures, Nesta
Join in on Twitter - #nextbigthing
For more information and booking a seat, please visit www.eventbrite.com/event/5439275018
Interviewed on Nanotechnology for Medicine by Strategic North for the publication STRATEGIC TALES
The interview is here
Feb 2013: GRANT awarded by JSPS for “International Research Collaboration Network for Developing Highly Functional Sensing Devices for Health, Safety and Security", within the frame work of the JSPS Core to Core Program, for a collaboration of Osaka Univeristy's SANKEN institute for collaboration wirh labs from Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, USA, France and my lab in Oxford. 19,850,000 yen/year x 5 years.
Feb 2013: I am interviewed for the Spanish edition of Glamour Magazine!
15 Feb 2013 Manga author Riko Miyagi visits our lab to research for a new Manga series on a Woman Scientist...
26 DEC 2012, 1 page feature in the print edition of the most popular Spanish Newspaper El Pais, featuturing our work on the future of medicine and an interview. The online edition is here link
Dec 2012. JAPAN TRIP funded by the EPSRC programme Bridging the Gaps 2012. I am visiting Noji's lab at Tokyo University and giving two lectures to master students at the Dept of Chemistry of Tokyo University on AFM and protein nanomechanics. I am also participating in a Symposium at SANKEN , Osaka University as invited speaker and then visiting Tabata lab at Tokyo University for discussing collaboration in IR, THz spectroscopy and nanomaterials...
3 Dec 2012 PUBLIC LECTURE. Physics and the future of medicine.
6:00pm - 7:00pm Martin Wood Complex, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX13PU, General public (Age 14+)
Feature on my work in Spanish National Newspaper EL Mundo on Tissue Engineering