Dr Ayomi Perera


I am an organic chemist with multidisciplinary research interests, broadly in areas of sustainable technologies for the development of nanomaterials for energy, catalysis, water purification and biomedical applications. I obtained my PhD in Chemistry, under the supervision of Professor Stefan Bossmann at Kansas State University, USA, followed by a postdoctoral appointment at University College London, in the EPSRC Centre for Nature Inspired Engineering. Currently, I am spearheading a dynamic and diverse research group, in addition to conducting lectures and lab classes in Organic, Environmental and Industrial Chemistry, as a Senior Lecturer at Kingston University.

Academic responsibilities

Senior Lecturer in Organic & Pharmaceutical Chemistry


  • PhD in Chemistry, Kansas State University, 2012
  • Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Department of Chemistry, Kansas State University, Jan 2013 – Jul 2013
  • Post-Doctoral Research Associate, EPSRC Frontier Engineering Centre for Nature Inspired Engineering, University College London, Jan 2014 – Aug 2018
  • Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), 2019

Teaching and learning


Transcending scientific boundaries has been a hallmark of my research career with multiple national and international inter-disciplinary collaborations. My research experience ranges from the synthesis of organic, inorganic, hybrid, nano and porous materials, to protein chemistry, and microbiology. My current research draws inspiration from my PhD and postdoctoral experiences; the highlights of which were the development of a greener approach to solar energy harvesting via a protein incorporated "Hybrid Soft Solar Cell"; optimization of mesoporous titanosilicates as highly active epoxidation catalysts; and development of robust, responsive, biocompatible magnetic hydrogels for drug delivery.

At present, I am pursuing two major research interests under the unifying theme of "advanced functional nanomaterials for sustainable applications": 1) Development of advanced composite materials for water purification, light harvesting and photo/chemo catalysis, 2) Development of composite hydrogels for applications in wound care and customizable drug delivery.

Recent grants:

  • Principal Investigator: HEFCE Global Challenges Research Fund award 2020/2021, "A combinatorial approach to low-cost water treatment via removal of microbes, organic pollutants and heavy metals" - Part III.
  • Co-Investigator: HEFCE Global Challenges Research Fund award 2019/2020, "A combinatorial approach to low-cost water treatment via removal of microbes, organic pollutants and heavy metals" - Part II.
  • Co-Investigator: HEFCE Global Challenges Research Fund award 2018/2019, "A combinatorial approach to low-cost water treatment via removal of microbes, organic pollutants and heavy metals" - Part I.
  • Co-Investigator: BBSRC LIDo (London interdisciplinary doctoral programme) 2017, "Magnetically actuated hydrogels: A revolutionary platform for tissue engineering".

Selected Conferences  

AIChE Annual Meeting 2017, Minneapolis, MN, USA, October 30th - November 3rd 2017. "Investigation of Factors that Induce Cristobalite Formation during Titanosilicate Synthesis and Their Potential Impact on Heterogeneous Catalysis", and "Nacre-Inspired Composite Gels for Biomedical Applications".

ACS National Meeting 2017, Washington DC, USA, August 20th-24th 2017. "Titanium(IV)-Induced Formation of Cristobalite in Titanosilicates and its Potential Effect on Heterogeneous Catalysis - Induced Impact or Spectator?". 

AIChE Annual Meeting 2016, San Francisco, CA, USA, November 13th-18th 2016. "Development of a Hierarchical Titanosilicate with High Catalytic Activity via Statistically Guided Synthesis".

Gordon Research Conference: Catalysis, New London, NH, USA, June 12th-17th 2016. "Statistically guided synthesis optimization of a hierarchically ordered micro-meso porous titanosilicate for heterogeneous catalysis".

Pacifichem 2015 Conference, Honolulu, HI, USA, December 15th-20th 2015. "Synthesis Optimization of Hierarchically Ordered Micro-Mesoporous Ti-Silica for Heterogeneous Catalysis".

ZMPC 2015 Conference, Sapporo, Japan, June 28th-July 02nd 2015. "Optimized Synthesis of Mesoporous Ti-Silica Micro-Spheres for Catalysis: A Doehlert Matrix Study".

AIChE Annual Meeting 2014, Atlanta, GA, USA, November 12th-17th 2014, "Synthesis and Catalytic Activity of Mesoporous Ti-Silica Materials".

ChemEng Day UK, April, 2014 (Manchester) and 2015 (Sheffield). "Self-Organization Behavior and Scope of Application of Mycobacterial Porin MspA", and "Optimized Synthesis of Mesoporous Titano-Silicate Microspheres for Catalytic Applications: A Doehlert Matrix Study".

ACS 47th Midwest Regional Meeting, Wichita, KS, USA, October 24-27th 2012. "FTO and FTO/TiO2 Based Solar Cells Incorporating the Mycobacterial Porin MspA as a Green Alternate Energy Source", "Mechanism of Temperature Dependent Nanoscopic Vesicle Formation of Mycobacterial Porin MspA in Aqueous Media", "3D Aggregation Behavior of RuC2-MspA Assemblies in Aqueous Media: An Explanation to Lack of Channel Blocking of MspA Pore by RuC2 Complex".

Capitol Graduate Research Summit, Topeka, KS, USA, February 16th 2012. "Design of a 'Greener' Solar Cell using Mycobacterial Protein MspA". (Winner: Best poster award)

K-State Research Forum, Manhattan, KS, USA, April 20th 2011. "Purification and Analytical Assessment of the Mycobacterial Porin MspA and Investigation of its Channel Activity and Potential Use for a Protein Nano-Solar Cell". (Winner: Best research presentation award)

22nd National NSF EPSCoR Conference, Coeur d'Alene, ID, USA, October 24-27th 2011. "Design of a Mycobacterial Porin Based Dye Sensitized Solar Cell". (Winner: Grand prize in energy poster session)

ACS Joint 46th Midwest Regional Meeting - 39th Great Lakes Regional Meeting, St. Louis, MO, USA, October 19-22nd 2011. "Design of a Mycobacterium Porin (MspA) Based Solar Cell".

Research student supervision

Main supervision

Other supervision


Number of items: 23.


Bristow, Reece, Foot, Peter, McGettrick, James D., Bear, Joseph and Perera, Ayomi (2024) Sustainable synthesis of titanium based photocatalysts via surfactant templating : from kerosene to sunflower oil. Materials Advances, 5(9), pp. 3649-3661. ISSN (online) 2633-5409

Perera, Ayomi S., Melia, Patrick M., Bristow, Reece M.D., McGettrick, James D., Singer, Richard J., Bear, Joseph C. and Busquets, Rosa (2022) A non-doped microporous titanosilicate for bimodal adsorption-photocatalysis based removal of organic water pollutants. Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, 345, p. 112276. ISSN (print) 1387-1811

Bossmann, Stefan H., Payne, Macy M., Kalita, Mausam, Bristow, Reece M. D., Afshar, Ayda and Perera, Ayomi S. (2022) Iron-based magnetic nanosystems for diagnostic imaging and drug delivery : towards transformative biomedical applications. Pharmaceutics, 14(10), p. 2093. ISSN (online) 1999-4923

Perera, Ayomi S., Jackson, Richard J., Bristow, Reece M. D. and White, Chinyere A. (2022) Magnetic cryogels as a shape-selective and customizable platform for hyperthermia-mediated drug delivery. Scientific Reports, 12, p. 9654. ISSN (online) 2045-2322

Perera, Ayomi S. and Coppens, Marc-Olivier (2019) Re-designing materials for biomedical applications : from biomimicry to nature-inspired chemical engineering. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 377(2138), ISSN (print) 1364-503X

Perera, Ayomi S., Cockcroft, Jeremy K., Trogadas, Panagiotis, Yu, Haiyue, Kapil, Nidhi and Coppens, Marc-Olivier (2019) Titanium(IV)-induced cristobalite formation in titanosilicates and its potential impact on catalysis. Journal of Materials Science, 54(1), pp. 335-345. ISSN (print) 0022-2461

Perera, A. S., Trogadas, P., Nigra, M. M., Yu, H. and Coppens, M.-O. (2018) Optimization of mesoporous titanosilicate catalysts for cyclohexene epoxidation via statistically guided synthesis. Journal of Materials Science, 53(10), pp. 7279-7293. ISSN (print) 0022-2461

Perera, Ayomi S., Zhang, Siqi, Homer-Vanniasinkam, Shervanthi, Coppens, Marc-Olivier and Edirisinghe, Mohan (2018) Polymer–magnetic composite fibers for remote-controlled drug release. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 10(18), pp. 15524-15531. ISSN (print) 1944-8244

Yapa, Asanka S., Wang, Hongwang, Wendel, Sebastian O., Shrestha, Tej. B., Kariyawasam, Nilusha L., Kalubowilage, Madumali, Perera, Ayomi S., Pyle, Marla, Basel, Matthew T., Malalasekera, Aruni P., Manawadu, Harshi, Yu, Jing, Toledo, Yubisela, Ortega, Raquel, Thapa, Prem S., Smith, Paul E., Troyer, Deryl L. and Bossmann, Stefan H. (2018) Peptide nanosponges designed for rapid uptake by leukocytes and neural stem cells. RSC Advances, 8(29), pp. 16052-16060. ISSN (online) 2046-2069

SP, Ayomi, W, Hongwang, SY, Asanka, B, Austin, C, Jose, Xu, Feng, W, Donghai and HB, Stefan (2017) Statistically-guided optimization of the catalysis of cellulose hydrolysis via sulfamic acid functionalized magnetic iron/iron(III) oxide core-shell nanoparticles. Nano Science & Nano Technology : An Indian Journal, 11(1), ISSN (online) 0974-7494

Wendel, Sebastian O., Perera, Ayomi S., Pfromm, Peter H., Czermak, Peter and Bossmann, Stefan H. (2014) Fermentation optimization of 'Mycobacterium smegmatis' using experimental design. British Journal of Applied Science & Technology, 4(10), pp. 1472-1484. ISSN (online) 2231-0843

Wendel, Sebastian O, Perera, Ayomi S, Pfromm, Peter H, Czermak, Peter and Bossmann, Stefan H (2013) Adaptation of 'Mycobacterium smegmatis' to an industrial scale medium & isolation of the mycobacterial porin MspA. The Open Microbiology Journal, 7, pp. 92-98. ISSN (online) 1874-2858

Perera, Ayomi S., Navaneetha, K. Subbaiyan, Kalita, Mausam, Wendel, Sebastian O., Samarakoon, Thilani N., D'Souza, Francis and Bossmann, Stefan H. (2013) A hybrid soft solar cell based on the mycobacterial porin MspA linked to a sensitizer-viologen diad. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 135(18), pp. 6842-6845. ISSN (print) 0002-7863

Perera, Ayomi S., Wang, Hongwang, Shrestha, Tej B., Troyer, Deryl L. and Bossmann, Stefan H. (2013) Nanoscopic surfactant behavior of the porin MspA in aqueous media. Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology, 4, pp. 278-284. ISSN (print) 2190-4286

Perera, Ayomi S., Wang, Hongwang, Basel, Matthew T., Pokhrel, Megh Raj, Gamage, Pubudu Siyambalagoda, Kalita, Mausam, Wendel, Sebastian, Sears, Bryan, Welideniya, Dhanushi, Liu, Yao, Turro, Claudia, Troyer, Deryl L. and Bossmann, Stefan H. (2013) Channel blocking of MspA revisited. Langmuir, 29(1), pp. 308-315. ISSN (print) 0743-7463

Book Section

Perera, Ayomi S. (2017) Sustainable magnetic nanocatalysts in heterogeneous catalysis. In: Bossmann, Stefan H. and Wang, Hongwang, (eds.) Magnetic nanomaterials : applications in catalysis and life sciences. London, U.K. : Royal Society of Chemistry. pp. 99-119. (Smart Material Series, (26)) ISSN (print) 2046-0074 ISBN 9781782627883

Perera, Ayomi Sheamilka and Coppens, Marc-Olivier (2016) Titano-silicates : highlights on development, evolution and application in oxidative catalysis. In: Spivey, J. J. , Han, Y. -F. and Dooley, K. M., (eds.) Catalysis : volume 28. Cambridge, U.K. : Royal Society of Chemistry. pp. 119-143. (Specialist Periodical Reports, 28) ISSN (print) 0140-0568 ISBN 9781782624271

Conference or Workshop Item

Perera, Ayomi S., Jackson, Richard, Miodownik, Mark and Coppens, Marc-Olivier (2017) Nacre-inspired composite gels for biomedical applications. In: 2017 AIChE Annual Meeting; 29 Oct - 03 Nov 2017, Minneapolis, U.S.. (Unpublished)

Perera, Ayomi S., Yu, Haiyue, Cockcroft, Jeremy K., Trogadas, Panagiotis and Coppens, Marc-Olivier (2017) Investigation of factors that induce cristobalite formation during titanosilicate synthesis and their potential impact on heterogeneous catalysis. In: 2017 AIChE Annual Meeting; 29 Oct - 03 Nov 2017, Minneapolis, U.S.. (Unpublished)

Perera, Ayomi S. (2017) Smart magnetic nanomaterials for sustainable applications in biomedicine and catalysis. In: 2017 AIChE Annual Meeting; 29 Oct - 03 Nov 2017, Minneapolis, U.S.. (Unpublished)

Perera, Ayomi S., Yu, Haiyue, Cockcroft, Jeremy K., Trogadas, Panagiotis and Coppens, Marc-Olivier (2017) Titanium(IV)-induced formation of cristobalite in titanosilicates and its potential effect on heterogeneous catalysis : induced impact or spectator? In: 254th American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition : Chemistry's Impact on the Global Economy; 20-24 Nov 2017, Washington, D.C., U.S.. (Unpublished)

Perera, Ayomi, Wendel, Sebastian, Schibel, Anna, White, Henry and Subbaiyan, Navaneetha (2011) Purification and analytical assessment of the mycobacterial porin MspA and investigation of its channel activity and potential use for a protein nano-solar cell. In: 242nd National Meeting of the American Chemical Society; 28 Aug - 01 Sep 2011, Denver, U.S.. (Unpublished)


Perera, Jayaweeralage Ayomi Sheamilka (2012) Investigation of stability, dynamics and scope of application of mycobacterial porin MspA : a highly versatile biomolecular resource. (PhD thesis), Kansas State University, .

This list was generated on Fri Jul 12 07:31:56 2024 BST.

Professional practice, knowledge exchange and impact

Knowledge exchange:

I have attended and presented at over 25 national and international academic conferences at RSC, ACS, AIChE, Pacifichem and Gordon Research Conference meetings. Additionally, I am passionate about promoting science to the general public and have been invited to speak at several events including:

  • SEC Lunchtime lecture series at KU, "Titanosilicates: Towards Greener Pathways in Photocatalysis", February 11th 2021.
  • UCL All Academic Festival, "Smart Magnetic Materials Inspired by Nature", June 10th 2017
  • "Pint of Science Festival, UK", London, 23rd-25th May, 2016: https://pintofscience.co.uk/event/batteries-not-included

Mentoring and Outreach:

I am keen on mentoring at school level to inspire young people to pursue careers in Science: 

  • Mentor for UCL "How to Change the World 2017" event: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/steapp/how-to-change-the-world
  • Mentor for the "in2scienceUK" program for A/L students at UCL, July –August 2015, 2016 and 2017
  • Mentor for the GROW (Girls researching Our World) program at Kansas State University, USA, for middle school students, Summer 2010 and 2011

Professional and scholarly affiliations

  • Member of the American Chemical Society (ACS), 2009-2015
  • Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), 2019

Leadership and management

University responsibilities

  • Line manager for postdoctoral research associate Dr Patrick Melia (2021)
  • Line manager for postdoctoral research associate Dr Richard Jackson (2021)

Videos of my work

Social media