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Professor Donnelly's research is centred on design and physicochemical characterisation of advanced polymeric drug delivery systems for transdermal and topical drug delivery, with a strong emphasis on improving therapeutic outcomes for patients.

Currently, Professor Donnelly's research is focussed on novel polymeric microneedle arrays for transdermal administration of "difficult-to-deliver" drugs and intradermal delivery of vaccines and photosensitisers. His work is funded by BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC, The Wellcome Trust, The Royal Society and the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries.

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Open to PhD applications in the field of microneedles/microarray patches, minimally-invasive patient monitoring/diagnosis, transdermal drug delivery, including biomolecules, vaccine delivery, photodynamic therapy, nanomedicine delivery, HIV treatment and prevention, delivery of therapeutics for tropical diseases and rare conditions.

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School of Pharmacy

Ryan Donnelly

Professor Ryan Donnelly (PI) is a Pharmacist with research interests in drug delivery and pharmaceutical formulation science. The principal focus of his Research group is on microneedle systems.


Research students

PhD Title: The Role of Microneedle Arrays (MNs) in the Enhancement of Glucagon-Like Peptides

Name: Rehan Al-Kasasbeh
Years of Study: 2015-2018
Country: Jordan

PhD Title: Novel delivery of phototherapeutics using minimally invasive devices

Name: Iman Hamdan
Years of Study: 2016-2019
Country: Jordan


PhD Title: Microneedle mediated transdermal drug delivery of amoxicillin

Name: Emma McAlister 
Years of Study: 2015-2018
Country: Northern Ireland

PhD Title: Hydrogel forming microneedles to enhance transdermal delivery of difficult to deliver drugs

Name: Eman Migdadi 
Years of Study: 2015-2018
Country: Jordan

Alumni: where are they now?

Dr Desmond Morrow

PhD Title: Strategies for Enhanced Topical Delivery of 5-Aminolevulinic acid

Years of Study: 2004-2007
Country: Northern Ireland
Current position: Formulation & Development Team Leader,  Argenta Manufacturing Ltd, New Zealand

Dr Tuan Mazlelaa Tuan Mahmood

PhD Title: Microneedle-mediated delivery of paediatric medicines

Years of Study: 2010-2013
Country: Malaysia
Current position: Senior Lecturer, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Dr Martin Garland

PhD Title: Microneedle-mediated iontophoretic drug delivery

Years of Study: 2008-2011
Country: Ireland
Current position: Technical Director, Kilco International, Scotland

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