Dr Peter Domachuk Memorial Lecture 2017
The Institute of Photonics and Optical Science (IPOS) and the School of Physics of the University of Sydney invite you to attend the Dr Peter Domachuk Memorial Lecture. The lecture was established in honour of Peter’s outstanding contribution and commitment to optofluidics and biophotonics research.
Professor Dame Athene Donald presents this year’s lecture.
Date: Tuesday, 04 April 2017
Time: 5:45pm for 6:00pm start
Venue: Harry Messel Lecture Theatre, Sydney Nanoscience Hub, The University of Sydney
The importance of imagery
In biology there have been many approaches to imaging samples in their natural state at high resolution beyond the diffraction limit of the light microscope. For many years I pursued the technique of Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy, attempting to look at samples ranging from bread dough and onions, to mammalian cells and leaves. I will discuss the challenges and open questions the technique posed plus why I think it has not been more widely adopted as novel optical approaches have transformed biological research.
However, images matter far more widely than just within the science community. Reaching out to politicians and educators images can be really powerful in conveying key messages. When engaging the public too, images, are vitally important in catching their interest and putting fundamental ideas across: Powerpoint alone will never work! Finally, in our day to day lives, images convey (or can counter) stereotypes, which have their own importance in encouraging - and discouraging - children and young adults in their career choices. Image and imagery matters for scientists in every direction they look.
Having completed her first and second degrees in Physics at the University of Cambridge, Professor Donald spent 4 years at Cornell University in the USA where she started working on polymers. She returned to the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambrdidge in1983, became a professor in 1998 and an FRS in 1999. Her research has focussed on using the ideas of soft matter physics to study a wide range of systems of both synthetic and biological origin, with an emphasis on using different types of microscopy. Areas pf major activity have included analysing the internal structure of starch granules and exploring protein aggregation at intermediate lengthscales, predominantly using model protein systems including beta lactoglobulin and insulin but extending to A beta. A particular focus has been on developing the technique of Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM).
She chaired the Royal Society's Education Committee from 2010-14 and was the University of Cambridge's Gender Equality Champion during the same period. She is a member of the European Research Council's Scientific Council. In 2014 she became Master of Churchill College. She writes a personal blog where she writes about life as a scientist, equality and diversity issues and the nature (and importance) of interdisciplinary science. She was appointed a Dame in the 2010 Birthday Honours List.
2017 Peter Domachuk Memorial Lecture
The Peter Domachuk Memorial Lecture series was established to honour and commemorate Dr Domachuk's outstanding contribution and commitment to optofluidics and biophotonics research. Peter Domachuk joined the School of Physics in 2003. His research is recognised globally with the successful publication of 36 journal papers. The Peter Domachuk Memorial Lecture was initiated by his parents in 2013 with the collaboration of the University of Sydney’s School of Physics and the Faculty of Science, and administered by the Institute of Photonics and Optical Science (IPOS).
The aim of the biennial Peter Domachuk Memorial Lecture is to attract the brightest minds and visionary thinkers in Optical and Experimental Physics. The lecture series aspires to attract the world's leading physicists to come to the University of Sydney to share information with students, academics and researchers and stimulate new and important lines of enquiry.
Dr Peter Domachuk
Dr Domachuk completed his undergraduate and postgraduate degree in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney. His PhD, under the supervision of Professor Ben Eggleton, was in the field of optofluidics and he published a series of landmark articles on the topic.
In 2006, Dr Domachuk was one of the first PhD student graduates of the CUDOS program. He then took a postdoctoral position at Tufts University in Boston, with Professor Fiorenzo Omenetto in the emerging field of biophotonics. At Tufts, he was part of ground breaking demonstrations in the field of silk photonics, bringing science closer to implantable, biocompatible optical components.
Dr Domachuk returned to the University of Sydney’s School of Physics in 2009 and was awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Postdoctoral Fellow in the CUDOS/IPOS group at the University of Sydney. Dr Domachuk published many high profile papers on the topic of optofluidics and biophotonics - he had 36 journal papers published in total. At the University of Sydney he initiated a new program in biophotonics (silk photonics and optofluidics), established new laboratories, supervised students and built commercial opportunities and links with hospitals and the community including his collaboration with Visual Artist Fiona Davies on her Blood on Silk series of works.
The biennial Memorial Lecture was set up in honour of Dr Peter Domachuk, who passed away unexpectedly in December 2012.