Oliver Hills

Oliver Hills

Profile

I graduated from Cardiff University with an MChem (1st class, Hons) in the summer of 2019 and I am now embarking on doctoral research in the School of Food Science and Nutrition. My skills lie primarily in theoretical/computational chemistry. During my time at Cardiff, my MChem thesis focussed on the implementation of multireference strategies (XMS-CASPT2) and non-adiabatic molecular dynamics to study photodissociation phenomena. My current research, however, takes a more applied stance and involves the investigation of key chemical interactions between bacterial biofilm structures and novel antimicrobial molecules elucidated through first principles modelling.

Research interests

Bacterial biofilms are a highly prevalent issue in the context of antibiotic resistance. These are matrices of extracellular polysaccharide, protein and DNA that shield the bacteria hiding within from antibiotic treatments. My current research involves studying the key chemistry present in bacterial biofilm systems. If one could rationalise the key chemical interactions underlying biofilm destruction, then opportunities arise for the development of novel antimicrobial molecules specialised at biofilm eradication. Such interactions can be elucidated from first principles atomistic simulations. An example simulation method I apply is plane-wave pseudopotential Density Functional Theory used synergistically with ab initio molecular dynamics.

Qualifications

  • MChem (1st class, Hons)