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Dr Jennifer Cookman



Date and Location: January 2014 – December 2017, University College Dublin

Degree: Ph.D. in BioNano Interactions, School of Chemistry


Research Thesis:

  • “Characterisation and Classification Strategies for Anisotropic Gold Nanoparticles for Applications in Biology”

Mastered skills:   

  • TEM operation (350+ hours operating experience on 4 different instruments with varying capabilities inc. ~100 hours with Cryo TEM imaging and preparation)
  • TEM sample preparation (inc. vitrification with VitroBot®, resin embedding and heavy metal staining, ultramicrotomy)
  • Nanoparticle synthesis of spherical and anisotropic nanoparticle samples of high quality (Turkevich procedure, surfactant mediated, halide poisoning, surfactant free, seeded growth)
  • Spectroscopic analysis (inc. Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS), Differential Centrifugation Sedimentation (DCS), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and UV-vis analysis)
  • Other microscopy techniques (Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM))


Dates and Location: 2008 - 2013, University College Dublin

Degree: B.Sc. (Hons) in Chemistry   


Final Year Project Title:

  • Dispersion and Characterisation of BiVO4 Nanoparticles (A+ grade)


Research Experience

Dates and Position Held: Aug 2013 - Dec 2013, Visiting Studentship         

Employer: Prof. Kenneth Dawson, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin      


  • Synthesised anisotropic nanoparticle of cubic, trisoctahedron and star geometries
  • Investigated systematic variations in synthesis parameters to control shape development
  • Gained certification in operating high resolution differential centrifugal sedimentation instrument for nanoparticle size distribution characterisation
  • Developed significant experience and training in operating TEM microscopes of varying capabilities and periphery

Dates and Position Held: Feb 2012 - Aug 2012, Research Assistant (Voluntary)

Employer: Prof. Gareth Redmond, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin

Project Title:

  • Chemical Exfoliation and Physical Characterisation of Molybdenum Disulphide (MoS2) 2D layered material
    • Characterised a suite of nanomaterials including MoS2 by spectroscopy such as UV-visible spectroscopy and photoluminescence
    • Received extensive training on the operation of an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) with which characterisation was also performed of the suite of nanomaterials


Dates and Position Held: May 2011 - July 2011, Research Assistant

Employer: Dr. Rachel Creamer, Teagasc, Johnstown Castle, Wexford       


  • Conducted experiments to facilitate the research of the PhD student to which I was designated
  • Operated spectroscopy instruments for test water samples
  • Aided preparation and post-processing of data for field work experiments

Publications List

  • Castagnola, V., Cookman, J., de Araujo, J.M., Polo, E., Cai, Q., Silveira, C.P., Krpetic, Z,. Yan, Y., Boselli, L and Dawson, K.A. “Towards a classification strategy for complex nanostructures” Nanoscale Horizons, 2017, 2, 187 - 198
    • Associated Journal Front Cover published in July 2017
    • Weblink:


  • Talamini, L., Violatto, M.B., Cai, Q., Monopoli, M.P., Kantner, K., Krpetic, Z., Perez-Potti, A., Cookman, J., Garry, D., Silveira, C.P., Boselli, L., Pelaz, B., Serchi, T., Cambier, S., Gutleb, A.C., Feliu, N., Yan, Y., Salmona, M., Parak, W.J., Dawson, K.A., Bigni, P. “Influence of size and shape on the anatomical distribution of endotoxin-free gold nanoparticles.” ACS Nano, 2017, 11 (6), pp 5519–5529
    • Weblink:


  • Kelly, M., Aberg, C., Polo, E., O’Connell, A., Cookman, J., Fallon, J., Krpetic, Z & Dawson, K.A. "Mapping protein binding sites on the biomolecular corona of nanoparticles." Nature nanotechnology 10.5 (2015): 472-479
    • Weblink:


  • Cookman, J., de Araujo, J.M., Lopez, H., Boselli, L., Cai, Q., Castagnola, V and Dawson, K.A. “Nanoparticles Shape Identifiers: Towards identification and classification of complex nanostructures” (in preparation for submission to ACS Nano)




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