I received my BSc. from King's College London and remained there to do a Ph.D. under the guidance of Professor Helen Fielding (UCL) carrying out work on Rydberg electron wavepacket dynamics in atoms and diatomic molecules. Following my Ph.D., I spent three months as a postdoctoral fellow at the PTCL at the University of Oxford under the guidance of Professors J.P. Simons FRS and Mark Brouard and then returned as an EPSRC postdoctoral researcher in Professor Fielding's group for three years to continue research on Rydberg dynamics. Under a Lawrence Berkeley postdoctoral fellowship, I joined Professor Stephen Leone's group at the University of California, Berkeley (three years) where I began investigating rotational and vibrational motion in diatomics and polyatomic and ways to manipulate these motions with certain optical tricks (pulse-sequences). I returned to the U.K. in 2005 and am currently a Professor of Physical Chemistry.
Our main interest of research is studying the photoprotection mechanisms of molecules found in DNA, proteins, and sunscreens following excitation with ultraviolet radiation, using a combination of femtosecond laser spectroscopy and gas-phase molecular beam methodologies. More recently, we have begun bridging the gap between our gas-phase work and the solution-phase, seeking to unravel how the photochemistry of these biomolecules is influenced by the more realistic condensed-phase environment. This is achieved using transient absorption spectroscopy methodologies. In addition, we are also interested in condensed dynamics of transition metal complexes of potential use as photochemotherapy 'prodrugs'.
Groups at Warwick
Our group are working on the following projects at the moment:
My research focuses on the application of time-resolved mass and velocity map ion imaging spectroscopies in the gas-phase and transient absorption spectroscopy in the solution-phase towards understanding the photoprotection mechanisms occurring in biologically important molecules such as DNA bases and Chemical Filters. Developing new experimental techniques to identify these mechanisms based on femtosecond lasers, molecular beam and transient absorption methodologies.
Vas teaches on the undergraduate modules CH162 Introductions to Physical Chemistry and CH277 Electrons in Molecules and Solids. (2019/20)
- Towards symmetry driven and nature inspired UV filter design, M.D. Horbury, E.L Holt, L.M.M. Mouterde, P. Balaguer, J. Cebrian, L. Blasco, F. Allais and V.G. Stavros, Nature Comm., in press
- Examining solvent effects on the ultrafast dynamics of catechol, M.A.P. Turner, R. Turner, M.D. Horbury, N.D.M. Hine and V.G. Stavros, J. Chem. Phys., 2019, 151, 084305
- Wavepacket insights into the photoprotection mechanism of the UV filter methyl anthranilate, N.d.N. Rodrigues, N.C. Cole-Filipiak, K.N. Blodgett, C. Abeysekera, T.S. Zwier and V.G. Stavros, Nature Comm., 2018, 9, 5188 (1-8)
- Unravelling the photoprotection properties of mycosporine amino acid motifs, J. Woolley, M. Staniforth, M.D. Horbury, G. Richings, M. Wills and V.G. Stavros, J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2018, 9, 3043-3048
- Investigating isomer specific photoprotection in a model plant sunscreen, M. D. Horbury, A.L. Flourat, S.E. Greenough, F. Allais and V.G. Stavros, Chem. Comm., 2018, 54, 936-939