Chalmers Chau


I am a PhD student in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Leeds in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, as well as a group member of the Pollard Institute of School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering.

I finished my BSc in Biomedical Science at the Queen Mary, University of London with a final year project on traumatic brain injury. Then immediately followed by completing the MRes in Translational Neurology at the University College London, which I focused on developing cell line model for Parkinson's disease and the effect of alpha-synuclein aggregates. I soon realized that it is important to understand how the biophysical structure of the aggregates correlates with the cellular toxicity for developing a treatment. Thus, I decided to come to Leeds due to its reputation in both biophysics and cell biology in amyloid diseases.

Unlike most people who worked in a related field prior to their PhD, I worked as a sous chef in the kitchen before I joined Leeds. Every now and then, I do stand-up comedies.

Research interests

My project focuses on the development of nanopipette as a tool to investigate the cellular effects of alpha-synuclein aggregates. The nanopipette is a needle with an extremely fine pore (less than 100nm in diameter). It can be used as a single molecule counter, as it shares the same principle as a Coulter Counter but in nanoscale. When used together with the scanning ion conductance microscopy, nanopipette can nanoinject different locations of a single-cell with extreme precision. Using this innovative approach, one can inject a defined number of structurally characterized aggregates into different locations of a single cell (cytoplasm/nucleus) and investigates the cellular effects of the aggregates after injection. This project answers the question of how many structurally known aggregates needed to affect the viabilities of cells for the very first time.


  • BSc in Biomedical Science (1st Honour)
  • MRes in Translational Neurology