Oliver Hills

Oliver Hills


I am a doctoral researcher in the Computational Chemistry, Biomaterials and Interfaces modelling group as part of the school of Food Science & Nutrition. My skills lie primarily in theoretical/computational chemistry. I graduated from Cardiff University with an MChem (1st class, Hons). During my time at Cardiff, my research focussed on the implementation of multireference strategies (XMS-CASPT2) and non-adiabatic molecular dynamics to study photodissociation phenomena. My current research at the University of Leeds takes a more applied stance and involves the investigation of key chemical interactions between bacterial biofilm extracellular matrices and novel antimicrobial molecules elucidated through plane-wave pseudopotential Density Functional Theory used synergistically with ab initio molecular dynamics. This will help us determine the chemistry, or particular molecular functionality, that facilitates a given molecule disrupting, or diffusing through, matrix architecture.

Research interests

My research interests involve the application of quantum chemical calculations to study the structural chemistry of bacterial biofilm extracellular matrix (ECM) components.

Bacterial biofilms are a cause of persistent infection and to understand how to eradicate them one must first understand the structural chemical properties of certian ECM elements. Moreover, understanding whether ECM architecture can be disrupted requires the ability to simulate a reaction that encompasses a change in bonding environment. These are granted through the application of plane-wave pseudopotential Density Functional Theory (DFT) used synergistically with ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD). In this circumstance my interests involve application of DFT, due to it’s grander scalability allowing for the treatment of larger systems (i.e. larger ECM networks) compared to wavefunction based quantum chemical calculations, and AIMD to search for novel antimicrobial molecules.






  • MChem (1st class, Hons)