Nicolas Shiaelis

Meet...Nicolas Shiaelis

Biological physics
Condensed Matter Physics

We work among extraordinary people doing extraordinary things; get to know some of them by reading these quick-fire interviews.

Name: Nicolas Shiaelis
Job title: DPhil student in biophysics, Founder of OxDX Ltd

What are you currently working on?
The main objectives of my DPhil work are developing novel methods of detecting and monitoring viruses, as well as developing new model systems for antiviral drug discovery. My main supervisor is Professor Achilles Kapanidis who supervises my microscopy work, and my secondary supervisor is Dr Luke Clifton who supervises my bilayer-related work using a variety of biophysical methods including neutron reflectometry. My work has already resulted in a patent (PCT/GB2021/050990) which has been licensed to OxDX Ltd – a new spin-out from the University of Oxford of which I am one of two co-founders.

Describe a typical day
I don’t really have a typical day; my work is interdisciplinary, and as such, I am based in the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Harwell, in the John Radcliffe Hospital and in the Kavli Institute for Nanoscience Discovery. Two days a week I also work at OxDX and that can either be in our offices in the Wood Centre for Innovation or at home. Activities vary between running simulations, imaging clinical samples, teaching, depositing bilayers and attending meetings.

If you had an entire day at your disposal (not at work), what would be your ideal way to spend it?
I do love a lie-in so the day would have to start with that. I would then go walking through a nearby village with my partner. There are so many great places near Oxford and despite living here for seven years I have only recently started venturing out to the neighbouring villages. I would probably end the day by meeting friends at a pub of which the town has plenty and get an early night’s sleep.

What is your favourite place in Oxford?
I am bit of a foodie so I think I will have to say the Gloucester Green market. I am from Cyprus, so I often miss food from home, but the market offers everything from Greek kebabs to Chinese dumplings. It’s also always great to see so many different cultures and cuisines being represented and enjoyed by everyone.

Plan B: what would you be if you weren’t doing the job you are currently doing?
I come from a family of lawyers (grandad, father, uncles, siblings, cousins) and I was supposed to be one too. Having said that I can’t imagine doing anything else other than research.