Gavin Irvine - PGR Profile
Gavin is a final year PhD student here at the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
In this profile, we'll find more about Gavin's work within Dr Efrosyni Themistou's research group, and his career so far!
Gavin completed an undergraduate degree in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of St Andrews in 2017. During his undergraduate degree he spent a year working for Reckitt Benckiser (RB) as an analytical chemist for Nurofen products in Hull.
Gavin's PhD work has focused on the synthesis and characterisation of both amphiphilic block copolymer nanoparticles and star polymers for drug/DNA delivery. During the final year PhD presentations, Gavin showcased his work on both cationic, biocompatible star polymers for DNA delivery and the synthesis of star polymer derivatives known as cross-linked star polymer model networks (CSPMNs). These networks are gels that are of a known and easily definable structure as they are comprised of star polymers linked together by a degradable cross-linker (that Gavin also synthesised). Through encapsulation of a dye, rhodamine B, it is possible to track the release of that dye in endosomal conditions and determine the viability of each CSPMN for drug delivery.
The analysis of these polymers involves using gel permeation chromatography (GPC) for estimating the molecular weight of each star polymer, dynamic light scattering (DLS) for determining the hydrodynamic diameters of each nanoparticle and proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) for calculating monomer conversion and the degree of polymerisation of each monomer.
Gavin has presented his work in Belfast, Dublin and Sitges, Spain winning poster prizes at the 70th and 71st Irish Universities Chemistry Research Colloquium in Belfast and Dublin respectively.