Janine Preston


I studied for my undergraduate degree at the University of North Wales, Bangor and graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry. Shortly after graduation, I joined Allied Colloids as a junior chemist working in the Natural Products laboratory encapsulating enzymes for liquid detergent products. I developed new encapsulation methods using a range of techniques and monitored the controlled release of enzymes using UV-Vis spectroscopic assays. These were also used to monitor the activity of enzymes of time important in detergent applications where the product could have a shelf-life of a few months.  

Allied Colloids was acquired by Ciba and the Natural Products and New Ventures departments became Encapsulated Products. My role in the new department was as a project leader focused on the encapsulation of pigments and dyes for home and personal care products. The projects involved using polyamide and polyacrylate copolymers which could be triggered to release the actives on demand. I evaluated how the dyes interacted with the polymers and how the loading of the dyes affected the particles opacity and reflection in cosmetic formulations. 

Whilst continuing to work full-time at Ciba, I studied part-time for an MSc in Science with the Open University. My areas of interest were public engagement in science, molecules in medicine (rational drug design) and issues in brain and behaviour (Treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease). I then went on to retrain as a science teacher with the University of Leeds and taught science to pupils in Key Stages 3-5. I specialized in chemistry, applied science, and developed my interest in these areas as an Assistant Examiner for the OCR and Cambridge International examination boards. I also developed an interest in personalized learning in science and studied for an MA in Teaching (University of Leeds) whilst continuing to work as a full-time teacher. 

I am currently a PhD Student at the School of Chemical and Process Engineering edu4j3p@leeds.ac.uk  and embarked on this journey as I missed the buzz of the research environment and wanted to challenge myself further. I am part of the Molecules to Product Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) and my research is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). My PhD focuses on understanding the behaviour of organic crystals at an emulsion or foam interface and whether different polymorphs of a compound exhibit different stabilization characteristics due to variations in their surface chemistry. 

Research interests

  • The development of plant-derived crystals as sustainable stabilizers to replace surfactants derived from petrochemicals. 

  • Developing strategies to control the size, shape, and polymorph of polyphenol crystals.

  • To develop models to explain how the surface chemistry of crystals can be used to design more efficient foam and emulsion stabilizers. 

  • To understand how the surface chemistry of crystals affects their surface activity. 


  • BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry
  • MSc in Science
  • PGCE Chemistry
  • MA in Teaching