Dr Natasha Keasberry


Lecturer, Faculty of Science


I joined Universiti Brunei Darussalam in June 2015 as a lecturer in Chemical Sciences at the Faculty of Science. I obtained my PhD under the supervision of Professor Nicholas Long at Imperial College London where I looked at functionalising iron oxide nanoparticles (IONP) for use as contrast agents for MRI. As part of my PhD project, I also synthesised macrocylic ligands for the complexation of lanthanides and transition metals, as well as radioactive gallium-68 for PET imaging. This work has contributed towards the basis of my current research interests.

My current research interests are in synthetic chemistry, which include the synthesis of both inorganic and organic compounds. This covers a wide range, from ligands which can act as selective chelators for toxic metal complexation, to nanoparticles such as magnetic iron oxide which can act as solid supports or catalysts for green processes. I also have an interest in synthesis of activated carbon from local fruit waste for various applications such as adsorbents or, to investigate their electrochemical properties.

I also actively work with several other UBD academics on various projects. With Dr Minhaz Uddin Ahmed, who heads the Biosensors and Biotechnology lab at UBD, we currently co-supervise several postgraduate students on projects involving the development of biosensors for detection of various analytes. I also work with Dr Hanif Mahadi from CAMES, on the preparation and characterisation of various materials.

At the Faculty of Science, I am involved in teaching various modules, such as Fundamentals of Inorganic Chemistry, Transition Metal Chemistry, Chemistry in Everyday Life, and Nuclear Chemistry & f-block elements.


2010-2014 PhD (Chemistry), Imperial College London
2006-2010 MSci (Chemistry), Imperial College London


Synthesis of ligands as metal-selective chelators for water remediation
Nanoparticle synthesis and characterisation for various applications
Synthesis of activated carbon for various applications (with Dr Hanif Mahadi, CAMES, UBD)
Development of biosensors (in collaboration with Dr Minhaz Uddin Ahmed, FOS, UBD)


Lead-selective chelators on solid support for the encapsulation of lead

Lead(II) ion is a serious environmental contaminant from various sources such as pesticides, burning of coal and from automobile emissions. Another source of contamination is perovskite-based solar cells which contains lead that can leak into the environment via waste water routes. Perovskite-based solar cells have seen a rapid advance in research over the past few years (at UBD included), due to improved efficiencies which makes it a competitor for large scale and low-cost photovoltaic technology. Therefore, to limit human exposure, lead contamination (whether from perovskite solar cells or other sources), should be removed. There are several ways of trapping lead, among them are adsorption onto nanoporous materials such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs), activated carbon/charcoal, graphene oxide and other materials; through permeable functionalised membranes; or through the complexation with small organic ligands/molecules. Thiohydroxamic acids are small organic ligands that have been shown to bind selectively to Pb but have so far not been conjugated to solid supports. The main advantage of utilising solid supports is their easy removal simply by filtering away the solid, which contains the captured lead. Therefore, in this study, we propose to conjugate novel modified thiohydroxamic acid molecules which act as lead chelators onto a solid support such as magnetic nanoparticles or activated carbon, for the sequestering of lead from water and other environmental sources. Interested candidates should email natasha.keasberry@ubd.edu.bn

Applications Invited
MSc in Research


1. Mohammad Rizwan, Natasha Ann Keasberry, Minhaz Uddin Ahmed, Sensing and Bio-Sensing Research, 2019, Vol 24, Efficient double electrochemiluminescence quenching based label-free highly sensitive detection of haptoglobin on a novel nanocomposite modified carbon nanofibers interface. (DOI: 10.1016/j.sbsr.2019.100284)
2. Azureen Mohamad, Huisian Teo, Natasha Ann Keasberry, Minhaz Uddin Ahmed, Critical Reviews in Biotechnology, 2018, 39, 1, 50-66, Recent developments in colorimetric immunoassays using nanozymes and plasmonic nanoparticles. (DOI: 10.1080/07388551.2018.1496063)
3. Azureen Mohamad, Natasha Ann Keasberry, Minhaz Uddin Ahmed, Analytical Sciences, 2018, Vol 34, No 11, pp 1257-1263, Enzyme-free gold-silver core-shell nanozyme immunosensor for the detection of haptoglobin. (DOI: 10.5114/ceji.2017.70978)
4. N A Keasberry, C W Yapp, A Idris, Biochemistry (Moscow), 2017, Vol 82, No 6, pp 655-662, Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles as a Carrier Platform for Intracellular Delivery of Nucleic Acids. (DOI: 10.1134/S0006297917060025)
5. Mohammad Rizwan, Noor Faizah Mohd-Naim, Natasha Ann Keasberry, Minhaz Uddin Ahmed, Analytical Methods, 2017, 9, 2570 – 2577, A highly sensitive and label-free electrochemiluminescence immunosensor for beta 2-microglobulin. (DOI: 10.1039/C7AY00263G)


1. N Keasberry, J Gallo, G Stasiuk, M Banobre-Lopez, C Wood, N Long, Nanoscale, 2015, 7, 16119, Tuning the relaxation rates of dual mode T1/T2 nanoparticle contrast agents: a study into the ideal system. (DOI: 10.1039/C5NR04400F)
2. Lim YC, Rajabalaya R, Lee SHF, Tennakoon KU, Le Q-V, Idris A, Zulkipli IN, Keasberry N, David SR, Molecules, 2016, 21(8), 1048, Parasitic mistletoes of the genera scurrula and viscum: from bench to bedside. (DOI: 10.3390/molecules21081048)


Principal Investigator for Faculty Block Grant Project: Lead-selective chelators on solid support for the encapsulation of lead. Awarded December 2018.

Industry, Institute, or Organisation Collaboration

Dr Minhaz Uddin Ahmed, Biosensors and Biotechnology Lab, UBD
Dr Hanif Mahadi, CAMES, UBD