Matthew Aquilina graduates and heads off to pastures new

We recently celebrated the graduation of former PhD student Matthew Aquilina, who is now leaving us for the United States.

Matthew completed his PhD on ‘Unlocking Precision Medicine using DNA Nanotechnology’ earlier this year, submitting his thesis in June and having his viva in August. His PhD was funded by the MRC Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) in Precision Medicine, which also awarded him a prestigious Transition Fellowship for a year of postdoctoral research. For the first six months of his fellowship, Matthew continued to work in our group at the University of Edinburgh. For the second part of his fellowship starting in January 2024, he will relocate to the United States to join Prof William Shih’s group at the Dana-Faber Cancer Institute and Wyss Institute at Harvard University.  While at Harvard, he’ll be working on a completely new project involving crisscross DNA origami and immunotherapy.

Part of Matthew’s Edinburgh research has already been published ( and further exciting papers are expected to follow soon. His work is extremely interdisciplinary and he has mastered an impressive range of techniques during his time at Edinburgh, alongside a range of other academic commitments from teaching to webinar hosting and intern supervision.

We wish him the very best of luck in his next steps!

Matthew has also benefited from financial support and resources from: the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, the Cirrus UK National Tier-2 HPC Service at EPCC, the Polish National Synchrotron Radiation Centre SOLARIS, the PLGrid Infrastructure and the Una Europa alliance. He has also had the pleasure of visiting and working with several outstanding collaborators.

Photograph shows Matthew and Katherine in graduation robes.