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Principal Investigator

Professor Anwesha Sarkar

Anwesha Sarkar ( is Professor of Colloids and Surfaces at the University of Leeds, UK. Her international research trajectory spans from academic institutions to industries in India, New Zealand, Switzerland and United Kingdom.

Prof. Sarkar received her BTech (Dairy Engineering) and MS (Food Technology) from India. Then she did PhD in Food Technology from Massey University, New Zealand (2010) in colloidal aspects of lipid digestion and worked for 4 years in Nestle Research (Lausanne) and Nestle Global Headquarters (Vevey) in Switzerland before joining University of Leeds. Prof. Sarkar is the PI of the prestigious ERC (European Research Council) Starting Grant funded Project LUBSAT (2017-22) to discover oral lubrication mechanisms and its effects on oro-sensory satiety, PI of ERC Proof of Concept (PoC) Project AQUALUB (2020-23) to develop salivary substitutes with optimal oral lubrication properties and ERC PoC (UKRI Horizon Guarantee Fund) Project MICROLUB to develop microgel-based fat replacers. She is also the Theme Lead in the EPSRC-CDT (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council-Centre for Doctoral Training) in 'Molecules to Product' (2019-27) and a key academic supervisor in EPSRC-CDT in 'Soft Matter for Formulation and Industrial Innovation' (2019-28). Prof. Sarkar was the Conference Chair of the 17th Food Colloids Conference (2018), the reputed biennial conference in the field of physical chemistry of complex foods at Leeds, UK and has served as Guest Editors for Advances in Colloid and Interface Science as well as Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects. She is the editorial board member of journals, Food Hydrocolloids, Food Hydrcolloids for Health, Biotribology, Tribology Letters, Food Structure, and Journal of Texture Studies. Prof. Sarkar has been recognized by the Women of Achievement Roll of Honour 2018 at University of Leeds for her recent contributions to the field of colloid science and oral processing. She is the winner of the prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Food Group Junior Medal 2019 as a result of her research in designing novel food structures with targeted oral lubrication performance. Previously she was awarded Elsevier Young Scientist Award (2009) and Nestle Discovery award (2011) for her scientific researches. To date, Prof. Sarkar has published +100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and is the co-inventor of 7 patents and and she is regularly invited for giving keynote lectures at national and international conferences in food, oral therapies and allied soft matter areas.

Current Team Members

Daisy Akgönüllü

PhD Student,
I am a PhD student funded by the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Soft Matter for Formulation and Industrial Innovation (SOFI2) CDT and PepsiCo. I am researching the behaviour of biopolymeric microgels in emulsions both within the bulk continuous phase and at the interface; with the aim to gain fundamental understanding of how the nanomechanical properties and ordering of the microgels may influence their ability to act as Pickering stabilisers.

Dr. Andrea Araiza Calahorra

Postdoctoral Fellow,
I recently graduated from University of Leeds, UK with a PhD in Food Colloids Science, where I developed Pickering emulsions-based encapsulation systems to improve the bioaccessibility of lipophilic compounds after in vitro digestion and delivery to cells. I had re-joined Sarkar's Lab but as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow as part of the Eat4Age international project funded by the Joint Programming Initiative - A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life (JPI HDHL). Now, I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in UKRI Horizon Europe Guarantee-Funded Project MicroLub to develop commercially translatable microgel-based technology for fat replacement applications. As part of the project, I aim to establish technical and commercial feasibility of this technology.

Frances Brown

PhD Student,

The aim of my PhD is to create fundamental understanding of protein-saliva interactions during oral processing using various physiochemical and mechanical approaches. Specifically, as a part of this Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)-Mondelez PhD Project, I will be looking at how these interactions may subsequently affect mouthfeel.

Alice Burberry

Research Assistant, The aim of my project is to design colloidal technologies to enhance the mouthfeel of plant-based foods by improving their usually poor lubrication performance and mouthfeel. Specifically, as a part of this IAA funded Project PlantFeel, I will be focusing on design and characterization of a range of plant protein-based colloidal materials.

Bianca Hazt

PhD student, I am a PhD student funded by the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Soft Matter for Formulation and Industrial Innovation (SOFI2) and Reckitt Benckiser. My research focuses on understanding the mucoadhesive behaviour of microgels and their drug-release performance, considering different biomimetic environments using a combination of experimental and modelling approaches.

Gloria Hernandez Rodriguez

PhD student, School of Chemical and Process Engineering I am a part of the CDT Molecules to Product, which is funded by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). My PhD project focuses on understanding the physical phenomenon that regulates the demulsification of microgel-stabilized Pickering emulsions on demand to design next generation stimuli-responsive droplets for controlled release of active materials for food, pharmaceutical, personal care and allied soft matter applications.

Megan Holdstock

PhD Student,
I am a PhD student funded by the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Soft Matter for Formulation and Industrial Innovation (SOFI2) CDT and Nestle. My project is looking at the dispersion of protein particle fillers in non-aqueous media, specifically for chocolate applications. I am looking to gain an understanding of the interaction between the particles and also how this affects various materials properties.

Ben Kew

PhD Student,
My PhD focuses on understanding the lubrication mechanisms in proteins and protein-based complexes. As a part of European Research Council (ERC) Project: Lubsat, I aim to study the tribological properties and sensory perception of such complexes with an ultimate goal to identify bottom up principles for designing no-/ low-fat foods with optimum mouthfeel.

Amna Khatun

PhD Student, School of Chemical and Process Engineering
I am part of the Molecules to Product programme Centre of Doctoral Training (CDT) funded by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). My PhD focuses on understanding and evaluating the biodegradation fate of engineered polymeric microparticles that enters through various channels into the natural environment.

Yao Lu

Visiting PhD Student,
I am a PhD student in the College of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering at China Agricultural University, Beijing, China and a visiting researcher at the University of Leeds for a year funded by CSC Chinese Scholarship. My research focuses on designing innovative gel structure and understanding their tribological properties. I want to establish the relationship between the structure of gel and its multi-scale oral lubrication behaviour to provide mechanistic framework for designing foods with specific lubricating properties.

Jennifer A. McLauchlan

PhD Student, I am a PhD student funded by the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training for Formulation and Industrial Innovation (SOFI2 CDT). My PhD project in Leeds is in collaboration with Oatly to design sustainable plant-based microgels. This involves using a combination of experimental techniques and coarse grain modelling to determine structure-property relationships.

Sowmya Narsipur

PhD student, School of Chemical and Process Engineering I am part of the Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Molecules to Product, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and based at the School of Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Leeds. My PhD is about understanding and improving the functional and sensorial performance of single-cell proteins from microbial biomass as sustainable protein alternatives for use in vegan and functional foods.

Nisufyan Nimaming

PhD Student,
My PhD research focuses on emulsion stabilisation by Pickering particles. The aim of this project is to investigate the characteristics and properties of Pickering emulsion stabilized by biodegradable particles for controlled delivery of bioactive compounds.

Supatchayaporn Nitsuwat

PhD Student,
As part of my PhD, I aim to understand the impact of the different aspects of oral processing on the nutrient intake in older adults and address their nutritional needs through foods that conform with their oral processing capability.

Mary Okeudo-Cogan

PhD student, School of Chemical and Process Engineering I am a part of the CDT Molecules to Product, which is funded by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). My research aims to characterize interactions between proteins and fibrils in composite gels at multiple length scales. I am focusing on understanding the microstructure, rheological and nano-mechanical properties of composite gels and I am to develop mesoscopic models that will aid the understanding of interactions and charge distribution in these gel.

Cristhian Rafael Lopes

Visiting PhD Student,
I am a PhD candidate in the School of Food Engineering of University of Campinas and a visiting researcher at the University of Leeds for a year funded by FAPESP, Brazil. My visiting research at Sarkar Lab will investigate the conjugation of proanthocyanidins with plant proteins and the production of microgelled conjugates as a novel approach to attenuate the astringency perception of the phenolic compounds.

Dr Siavash Soltanahmadi

Postdoctoral Fellow, I completed my PhD in Mechnica Engineering at University of Leeds on the tribological investigation of surface fatigue encountered in roller element bearings. I am experienced in tribology of steel, soft elastomeric and hard-carbon coated surfaces. In my postdoctoral project (European Research Council, ERC Project: LubSat) at University of Leeds, I aim to develop novel methods to study the lubrication properties of bio-relevant fluids and surfaces. The project outcomes will contribute to the mechanistic understanding of the lubrication behaviour of human oral mucosa.

Elizabeth Tenorio

PhD Student,
My PhD project funded by CONACyT (Mexico) focusses on designing double emulsions stabilized by food grade particles. One of the primary purposes is to engineer low-fat foods to address global obesity challenges. As these food colloidal structures have to render similar characteristics to full-fat ones, tribological studies will be carried out to characterise and compare mouthfeel sensations using biomimetic oral set ups.

Chenxi Wang

PhD Student,
I am a PhD student funded by Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC). My research focuses on designing novel Pickering water-in-water emulsions using biocompatible microgels with an aim to emulate the outstanding lubrication performance of nature-engineered lubricants to address mucosal dryness. I want to pinpoint the underlying mechanisms of the lubrication performance.

Mingxin Wang

PhD Student,
My PhD project will focus on understanding the techno-functional performance of plant-based proteins post enzymatic modification, specifically interfacial and lubrication properties of plant protein hydrolysates. This project will create new findings to address techno-functional challenges and plant protein astringency perceived in the mouth.

Jun Yang

Visiting PhD Student,
I am a PhD student in the College of Food Science and Engineering at Nanchang University (Nanchang, China), and I am spending a year at the University of Leeds as a visiting researcher funded by the China Scholarship Council (CSC). My research in Leeds is focused on the stabilization mechanism of Pickering emulsions and interfacial properties of shape-controllable biopolymeric nanoparticles.

Yangyi Zheng

PhD Student,
My PhD research focuses on using novel techniques to improve the nutritional and techno-functional properties of plant proteins, specifically legume proteins. I am particularly interested in extraction processes of plant proteins that tend to influence structure and consequently performance of legume proteins.

Past Team Members (2016-23)

  • Dr. Hasan H. Kara (TUBITAK Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow, Nutrition and Dietetics Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, Necmettin Erbakan University, Turkiye)
  • Dr. Kwan Mo-You (PhD Student)
  • Dr. Olivia Pabois (Postdoctoral Fellow)
  • Mohd. Khalid Gul (SERB Visiting Fellow, Department of Food Process Engineering, National Institute of Technology (NIT) Rourkela, India)
  • Dr. Ecaterina Stribitcaia (PhD Student)
  • Shikha Aery (Visiting Commonwealth Split-side PhD Student, Dept. Chemistry, Panjab University, India)
  • Hanna Fanny Clarisse Lesme (EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland)
  • Mingxin Wang (Research Assistant)
  • Farida Akalweel (Research Assistant)
  • Yasmin Message (Research Assistant)
  • Siyu Deng (Masters Project Student)
  • Muskan Swaminarayan (Masters Project Student)
  • Subhajit Sarkar (Masters Project Student)
  • Mingxin Wang (Research Assistant)
  • Zihan Lu (Masters Project Student)
  • Zoe King (Undergrad Project Student)
  • Monica Clark (Undergrad Project Student)
  • Yasmin Message (Undergrad Project Student)
  • Dr. Shuning Zhang (PhD Student)
  • Dr. Mingduo Mu (Research Assistant)
  • Dr. Evangelos Liamas (Postdoctoral Fellow)
  • Jing Hu (Masters by Research Student)
  • Eleana Stylianou (Masters Project Student)
  • He Zu (Masters Project Student)
  • Yonglin Li (Masters Project Student)
  • Kenan Liu (Masters Project Student)
  • Dr. Andrea Araiza Calahorra (PhD Student)
  • Dr. Efren Andablo-Reyes (Postdoctoral Fellow)
  • Dr. Morfo Zembyla (PhD Student)
  • Dr. Emma Krop (PhD Student)
  • Xin Li (Visiting Chinese Scholarship CSC Split-side PhD Student, School of Food Science, Jiangnan University, China)
  • Dr. Arantxa Rizo Párraga (Visiting Researcher, IATA-CSIC, Spain)
  • Dr. Abhijit Dan (Visiting Researcher, Dept. of Chem, Panjab University, India)
  • Hoang Du Le (Visiting PhD Student, Massey University, New Zealand)
  • Dr. Ophelie Torres (PhD Student)
  • Pallab Kumar Borah (Visiting Commonwealth Split-side PhD Student, Dept. Food Eng and Tech, Tezpur University, India)
  • Feng Xu (Masters by Research Student)
  • Linge Teng (Undergrad Project Student)
  • Lucy Daynes (Undergrad Project Student)
  • Ben Kew (Undergrad Project Student)
  • Juslin Varghese (Masters Project Student)
  • Demetra Yerani (Masters Project Student)
  • Namrata Bhujbal (Masters Project Student)
  • Ming Fu (Masters Project Student)
  • Elinor Jones (Undergrad Project Student)
  • Farah Kanti (Erasmus Student, AgroSup, Dijon, France)
  • Valerie Ademuyiwa (Masters Project Student)
  • Apaporn Thummavanich (Masters Project Student)
  • Nur Binti Esa (Masters Project Student)
  • Mo Chen (Masters Project Student)
  • Kiu Tso (Masters Project Student)
  • Siti Ahmad (Undergrad Project Student)
  • Emma Baron (Undergrad Project Student)
  • Samuel Stubley (Undergrad Project Student)
  • Igor Wolz (Undergrad Project Student)
  • Davide Rabiti (Erasmus Student, Food Science Dept., University of Bologna, Italy)
  • Shuning Zhang (Research Assistant)
  • Dr. Nicolai Kraut (Postdoctoral Fellow)
  • Li Hancong (Masters Project Student)
  • Man Lai (Masters Project Student)
  • Nidia Mercado Tena (Masters Project Student)
  • Aliah Mohd Nizan (Masters Project Student)
  • Maria Zahid (Masters Project Student)
  • Hugues Patuot (Erasmus Student, AgroSup, Dijon, France)
  • Dr. Laura Laguna (Postdoctoral Fellow)
  • Eda Adal (Visiting PhD Student, Food Eng Dept., Gaziantep University, Turkey)
  • Deborah Cray (Undergrad Project Student)
  • Deborah Del Negro (Undergrad Project Student)
  • Grace Farrell (Undergrad Project Student)
  • Azad Abdalla (Masters Project Student)
  • Hannah Kamaruddin (Masters Project Student)
  • Shikai Wang (Masters Project Student)
  • Xinyi Yang (Masters Project Student)