Researcher biography

Dr Kaur is working as an Honorary Research Fellow/Lecturer within the School of Dentistry, The University of Queensland, Australia. Along with her current work on 'Topically applied nano silver biocomposites in Dentistry', she is providing hands on research supervision to higher degree research students.

Dr Kaur's research interests include understanding the surface chemistry at nanoscale, development of nanomaterial libraries for specific applications, characterization using sophisticated spectroscopic and microscopic techniques, behavioral difference between nanoparticles and metal ions, understanding the nano-bio (eco) interactions through the corona formation, quantification and life cycle assessment of nanomaterials in both biological tissues and environmental samples. Her research philosophy is to encourage her students to explore and perform research in areas that they find interesting.

Career overview

PhD Nano-biochemistry (2015)

MSc Chemistry and Biochemistry (2004)

BSc Chemistry and Biology (2002)

Dr Kaur completed her PhD on a MRC-NERC funded project at the University of Birmingham, UK on understanding the surface chemistry of cerium oxide nanoparticles and their uptake and internalisation in human lung epithelial cells (A549). In this work, she developed a library of ceria nanoparticles with a range of functionalities and quantified their oxidation states using STEM-EELS, XPS and XAS. She was a visiting researcher (2012-2015) at University of South Carolina, USA and worked on collaborative research with Public health , USA which gave her substantial international research experience. Dr Kaur worked for 2.5 years (2015-2017) as a postdoctoral research fellow in the famous 'FENAC lab' at University of Birmingham which is UK's national facility for Environmental nanoscience analysis and characterisation and worked with the foremost leaders in their field. During this period, she worked on a NERC funded project towards the development of isotopically labelled and biologically compatible silver nanoparticles with different functionalities for various biomedical and environmental applications. In particular, the focus was to provide a robust protective surface coating to the nanoparticles in order to inhibit the dissolution process in aquatic Zebrafish media. The nanopaticles were fed to Zebrafish and quantified for their multi-generational bioaccumulation using stable isotope tracers in a collaborative work with University of Exeter and Imperial College London, UK.

Before joining UQ, Dr Kaur worked as a Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer in Inorganic and bio-chemistry at Nottingham Trent University, UK. She was the module leader for Year 2 and taught Inorganic chemistry to all levels of undergraduate classes along with Nano and green Technology as well as Biochemistry modules. She has successfully supervised 2 BSc, 2 MRes and 2 PhD students in the past and is currently supervising 2 PhD students at UQ. She has published in High impact journals and presented papers at both National and International Conferences. Recently, she was an invited speaker and honoured at Queensland Parliament for her community work and public service.

Scientific Leadership, Awards and Research grants

  • Nov 2022: Invited speaker and honoured with an appreciation momento for community work and public service by member of Parliament Hon Stirling Hinchliffe at Queensland Parliament, Queensland, Australia.
  • Oct 2017: GBP 20,000 for research projects, Nottingham Trent University UK research grants 2018.
  • Feb 2015: GBP 98,000 NERC Research fellowship in nanoscience, University of Birmingham, UK
  • Nov 2014: GBP 1000 Best doctoral project award by Diamond Light Source, Annual XAS meeting, UK
  • Jun 2014: Best Poster award by Public health England, Indoor and outdoor pollution annual meeting, Solihull, UK
  • Nov 2013: Invited Panel member, Special workshop on nano-ceria, organised by Sustainable Nanotechnology Organisation, Santa Barbara, California, USA
  • 2013-2014: Post-graduate research representative for Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK
  • Sep 2012: Travel award, 2000 CAD, 7th ICEENN, Banff, Alberta, Canada
  • Sep 2011: NERC funded doctoral studentship, University of Birmingham, UK
  • July 2002: Awarded with the 'college colour' by Govt. Mohindra college, Patiala, India
  • 2001-2002: Editor in chief of the college science magazine, Govt. Mohindra college, Patiala, India
  • Feb 1999: Nominated for outstanding student of the year award, MSSS, Patiala, India

External positions

  • 2022-Present: Candidature Chair for MPhil thesis, School of Dentistry, Herston, University of Queensland, Australia.
  • 2020-2021: Guest Editor 'Environmental Science: Nano'.
  • 2012-2017: Founder and organiser of Cross Campus meeting platform called NANOForum, University of Birmingham, UK
  • 2017-2019: External examiner for research degrees, University of Central Lancashire, UK, September
  • October 2017 to present: Co-Editor of journal 'Advances in Nanotechnology'.

Research collaborators and funding agencies:

Natural Environment Research Council, UK

University of Birmingham, UK

University Of South Carolina, USA

Public Health England, UK

Medical Research Council, UK

Imperial College London, UK

University Of Exeter, UK

National Physical Laboratories, UK

BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Germany

Université Paris-Saclay, CEA Saclay, France

Université Grenoble Alpes, France