Dr Finlay Walton

Published: 4 February 2022

Flexible implantable nanofabricated optogenetic devices for epilepsy treatment.

Staff photo - Finlay Walton


Dr Finlay Walton
James Watt School of Engineering

EPSRC Doctoral Prize Research Fellowship Dec 2020 – Nov 2022.

Area of Research

Flexible implantable nanofabricated optogenetic devices for epilepsy treatment.



Why did you choose to pursue a fellowship in your research career?

A fellowship can act as a launchpad for your research career. In the standard career trajectory, you will have completed a postdoc where there is little freedom to pursue your own ideas. A fellowship is a research project that is entirely yours, and if successful acts as proof that you can successfully run one – which will aid in convincing those who award grants and permanent positions in universities that you can do the job.

Why work at the University of Glasgow?

Why wouldn’t you? We have some world-class facilities, centres and academics here, as well as having an incredible army of support staff. For me, the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre is a big plus.

How would you describe your research in 20 words or less?

Epilepsy is hard to treat. I propose using gene therapy and an optoelectronic wireless implant to control epileptic seizures.

What is your research highlight?

It’s still early days for my fellowship work so my highlight is my 2018 Nature Chemistry paper with Prof. Klaas Wynne on the first demonstration of the Laser-Induced Phase Separation and Nucleation (LIPSaN) effect.

What do you look for in a collaboration?

New ideas and creativity – it doesn’t matter if you are a Professor or an undergraduate. Resources help practically though!

How do you see your research impacting society?

I want to show that it’s safe to implant an optogenetic device in a human, which will open the door to research into numerous other treatment options for different conditions. It would be thrilling to see my devices, or devices that my work inspired, used regularly in healthcare.

What next?

I need to convince funding bodies that my ideas are worth investing in, so that I can grow a team of talented students and staff! 

First published: 4 February 2022