Chidinma Okolo


Chidinma is a Beamline Scientist at beamline B24. She joined Diamond in 2019.

Tel: +44 (0) 1235778662
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Structural Biology
  • General and Cardiovascular Physiology
  • Parasite Physiology


Chidinma graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka with a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology (2011) and a Master of Science degree in Zoology (with specialization in Physiology) (2015). She worked for 3 years as an Assistant Lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, before proceeding to New Zealand for her Doctoral training. She completed her Doctoral training from the University of Otago, New Zealand and was awarded the degree in December 2019. Her thesis expanded existing knowledge on the implication of post-translational modifications on the diabetic heart, with focus on the cardiac ryanodine receptor.

During her Doctoral training, she used a variety of super-resolution imaging techniques (Direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (dSTORM), confocal microscopy and Expansion microscopy (ExM)) to study the cardiac ultrastructure, morphology and spatial distribution of cardiac proteins in response to acute and chronic triggers. Thereafter, she found herself highly interested in the organisation of cellular ultrastructure in response to biological or external stressors. 

This led her to pick up a role at Beamline 24 in Diamond in 2019, where she uses correlative light and X-ray microscopy to study structural changes within the cellular landscape with time . Her primary role is to use her array of knowledge and technical skills to drive instrument development, disseminate knowledge gathered from in-house and collaborative research as well as providing support to academic and industrial users at the Beamline.




1. Chidinma Adanna Okolo. ”A guide into the world of high-resolution 3D imaging: the case of soft X-ray tomography for the life sciences”. Biochemical Society Transactions, Volume 50(2), March 2022. http://DOI:10.1042/BST20210886


2. Mohamed Koronfel, Ilias Kounatidis, Dennis M. Mwangangi, Nina Vyas, Chidinma Okolo, Archana Jadhav, Thomas Fish, Phatcharin Chotchuang, Albert Schulte, Robert Robinson, Maria Harkiolaki. ”Correlative cryo-imaging of the cellular universe with soft X-rays and laser light used to track F-actin structures in mammalian cells”. Acta Crystalographica, Volume 77(12), December 2021. http://DOI:10.1107/S2059798321010329


3. Chidinma A. Okolo, Archana Jadhav, Patrick Phillips, Maud Dumoux, Amanda A. McMurray, Vishwas D. Joshi, Claire Pizzey and Maria Harkiolaki. ”Correlative imaging using super-resolution fluorescence microscopy and soft X-ray tomography at cryogenic temperatures provides a new way to assess virosome solutions for vaccine development”. Journal of Microscopy. Volume 284(3), Pages 214-232, August 2021. http://DOI:10.1111/jmi.13054


4. Patrick Phillips, James M. Parkhurst, Ilias Kounatidis, Chidinma Okolo, Thomas M. Fish, James H. Naismith, Martin A. Walsh, Maria Harkiolaki, Maud Dumoux. ”Single cell cryosoft X-ray tomography reveals the importance of bacteria concentration in the regulation of Chlamydia size”. Life. Volume 11(8), 842, August 2021. http://DOI:10.3390/life11080842.


5. Yann Huey Ng*, Chidinma A. Okolo*, Jeffery R. Erickson, James C. Baldi and Peter P. Jones. ”Protein O-GlcNAcylation in the heart”. Acta Physiologica, May 2021. http://DOI:10.1111/apha.13696 *Joint first authors.


6. Nina Vyas, Nina Perry, Chidinma A. Okolo, Ilias Kounatidis, Thomas M. Fish, Kamal L. Nahas, Archana Jadhav, Mohamed A. Koronfel, Johannes Groen, Eva Pereiro, Ian M. Dobbie and Maria Harkiolaki. ”Cryo-structured Illumination Microscopic Data Collection from Cryogenically Preserved Cells”. Journal of Visualised Experiments, Volume 171, e62274, May 2021. http://DOI:10.3791/62274


7. Chidinma A. Okolo*, Ilias Kounatidis*, Johannes Groen*, Kamal L. Nahas, Stefan Balint, Thomas M. Fish, Mohamed A. Koronfel, Aitziber L. Cortajarena, Ian M. Dobbie, Eva Pereiro and Maria Harkiolaki.” Sample preparation strategies for efficient correlation of 3D SIM and soft X-ray tomography data at cryogenic temperatures”. Nature Protocols, Volume 16(6) (June 2021). http://DOI:10.1038/s41596-021-00522-4 *Joint first authors.


8. Johannes Groen, Andrea Sorrentino, Luc´ıa Aballe, Robert Oliete, Ricardo Valc´arcel, Chidinma Okolo, Ilias Kounatidis, Maria Harkiolaki, Ana. Joaquina P´erez-Bem´a and Eva Pereiro. ”A 3D Cartographic Description of the Cell by Cryo Soft X-ray Tomography”. Journal of Visualised Experiments, Volume 169, e62190, March 2021. http://DOI:10.3791/62190


9. Maria Harkiolaki and Chidinma Okolo. ”The intracellular world in 3D and in colour: developments at the biological cryo-imaging beamline B24 at the UK’s national synchrotron, Diamond Light Source”. International Labmate: Microscopy and Microtechniques. September 2020. Link to article


10. Ilias Kounatidis, Megan L. Stanifer, Michael A. Phillips, Perrine Paul-Gilloteaux, Xavier Heili-genstein, Hongchang Wang, Chidinma A. Okolo, Thomas M. Fish, Matthew C. Spink, David I. Stuart, Ilan Davis, Steeve Boulant, Jonathan M. Grimes, Ian M. Dobbie and Maria Harkiolaki.”3D Correlative Cryo-Structured Illumination Fluorescence and Soft X-ray Microscopy Elucidates Reovirus Intracellular Release Pathway”. Cell, Volume 182. July 2020. http://DOI: 10.1016/cell.2020.05.051


  • Doctor of Philosopy (PhD) in Physiology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand (2015 - 2019).


  • Master of Science in Zoology and Environmental Biology with specialisation in Physiology (Distinction; 5.0/5.0 cGPA), University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria (2014 – 2015).


  • Bachelor of Science in Zoology (First Class Honours; 4.75/5.0 cGPA), University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria (2007 - 2011).



I have strong research ties with institutions in the UK, Nigeria and New Zealand.

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