Safety of Nanomaterials


Prof Rob Aitken
Director of Strategic Consulting

Prof. Rob Aitken is Director of Strategic Consulting at the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) and the Director of the SAFENANO initiative. As Director of Strategic Consulting for IOM, Rob leads IOM’s workprogram on nanotechnology risk which currently encompasses eight EU framework projects, a series of major public reviews for Government Departments in the UK and elsewhere as well as other research or consultancy activities. He is also the co-ordinator of SnIRC, a multidisciplinary research collaboration working on nanoparticle risk issues which include Edinburgh Napier University and Edinburgh University.

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Dr Steve Hankin
Director of Analytical Services

After acquiring his BSc and PhD degrees in Chemistry, Steve was awarded a National Science & Engineering Research Council Visiting Fellowship at the National Research Council of Canada's Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences. He returned to the UK following the award of a NERC post-doctoral fellowship held at the University of Glasgow, continue research on state-of-the-art laser analysis of chemicals on atmospheric particles. In 1999, Steve took up a position as a Research Scientist in the Environmental Health section of Health Protection Scotland. He trained further in Medical Toxicology and Epidemiology and led a number of public health toxicology initiatives associated with the surveillance, control and response to hazardous materials exposures. In 2007, he moved to the Institute of Occupational Medicine.

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Gordon Fern
SAFENANO Section Head

Gordon is a Chartered Chemist and Chartered Scientist with a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry gained in 1994. He spent 16 years in the chemical industry working for the large multi-nationals Diageo, Ciba and BASF. During this time, he has held positions as Analytical Laboratory Manager, Quality Manager and Technical Marketing Manager where project and technical management, combined with business development were major aspects of his responsibilities.

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Dr Craig Poland
Senior Research Toxicologist

Craig Poland joined the SAFENANO team as a research toxicologist in 2010 with expertise in particle and fibre toxicology. Craig graduated with an MSc in Biomedical sciences in 2005 from Edinburgh Napier University before undertaking a PhD as a COLT Foundation Fellow at The University of Edinburgh. His research work has investigated the toxicology of nanomaterials with particular emphasis on high aspect ratio (fibrous) nanomaterials which it has been hypothesised may a pose a risk of causing diseases such as those seen with another industrial fibre, asbestos. His work has received international recognition and he has been invited to speak at numerous scientific meetings (American Thoracic Society, NanoOEH, IPX), Government departments (HSE, DEFRA) and committees (WATCH).

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Dr Sofia Billett
Senior Scientist

Sofia Billett is a Staff Scientist at the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) in Edinburgh. After graduating with and MPharm in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Porto in 1993, she completed an MSc in Analytical Chemistry and a PhD in Environmental Microbiology at the University of Aberdeen. Sofia’s research focused on using novel biosensor technology coupled with strong analytical techniques to determine environmental toxicity and bioavailability of a range of contaminants.

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Sheona Read

Sheona Read (née Peters) is a Staff Scientist for SAFENANO at the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM). After graduating from the University of Edinburgh with a MChem (Hons) in Chemistry with Industrial Experience, Sheona joined the IOM team in December 2008. Since then, she has been involved in a range of nanotechnology health & safety consultancy including supporting the continued development of the SAFENANO website, for which she is now Associate Editor with primary responsibility for the Knowledge Base.

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Gillian Carse

Gillian Carse is a Staff Scientist in SAFENANO at the IOM, based in Edinburgh. Gillian joined IOM in July 2012 upon graduating from The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen with a BSc (Hons) in Forensic and Analytical Science. Gillian is involved in on-site exposure measurement and characterisation of nanomaterials for research projects and commercial clients. She is directly involved in a number of IOM’s EU FP7 nanotechnology-based research projects supporting the responsible innovation of nanotechnology. In addition, Gillian is an Associate Editor for the SAFENANO website, with responsibilities for Scientific Services information and supporting the Knowledge Base.

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