Dr Al-Jamal’s team focuses on engineering novel nanomaterials for biomedical applications. She has a multidisciplinary team working on developing innovative nanomedicines for combinatory therapy and theranostic applications.
To design and develop smart (stimuli-responsive) vectors to improve biologics, and conventional anticancer therapy, besides introducing new targeting approaches to enhance efficacy and to reduce the side effects of existing therapeutics.
Explore new methodologies, such as microfluidics, to fabricate and scale-up multifunctional nanoparticles (polymeric & lipid-based) for combinatory therapy, immunotherapy or theranostic applications.
- Smart and novel nanomaterials
- Tumour microenvironment
- Targeted delivery/Theranostics
Dr Wafa Al-Jamal
Professor Gavin Andrews is chair of pharmaceutical engineering and has research interests in development of novel orally administered solid dosage forms. This involves the use of engineering techniques for controlled/targeted delivery within the gastrointestinal tract and solubility enhancement of poorly soluble therapeutics and the use of multi-layer extrusion technology. Professor Andrews’ leads a dynamic research group at the interface between pharmaceutical sciences and chemical engineering with the aim of challenging the traditional methods commonly used to manufacture oral dosage forms and drug delivery platforms
- Drug delivery
- Amorphous solid dispersions
- Hot-Melt Extrusion
- 3D printing
- Continuous processing and PAT.
Professor Gavin Andrews
Dr. Barry is a qualified pharmacist and health services researcher. She is Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice in the School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University Belfast. Her research interests relate to service delivery and organisation of care within the primary healthcare setting, rational prescribing and medicines use for older people particularly those with dementia, frailty and multimorbidity, and pharmacists’ integration into general practice and their contribution to the multidisciplinary healthcare team. She has broad research experience utilising both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.
primary care; older people; prescribing; health services research
- Health services research
- Primary care
- Medicines optimisation
- Older people
Dr Heather Barry
Dr Peter Boyd’s research team are dedicated to the development of controlled release drug delivery systems by additive manufacturing and injection molding.
Our group specialise in the application of advanced manufacturing technologies to the production of drug eluting devices, with a particular focus on additive manufacturing (AM), injection molding (IM) and reaction injection molding (RIM).
Our expertise in additive manufacturing focuses on Arburg Plastic Freeforming (AKF), a form of high pressure, thermoplastic, droplet deposition modelling (DDM).
Injection molding, additive manufacturing, thermoplastic, silicone elastomers, combination devices, vaginal rings, implants, patches, biomaterials.
- Pharmaceutical Materials Science and Formulation
- Drug Delivery and Biomaterials
Dr Peter Boyd
Dr Buckley’s research focuses on understanding the pathways driving breast and ovarian cancer with a particular focus on triple negative breast cancer and the breast and ovarian tumour suppressor gene, BRCA1.
Dr Buckley’s stratified medicine approach integrates in vitro, in vivo, bioinformatics and molecular pathology methodologies to analyse tumours, identifying key pathways underpinning poor outcome.
Detailed knowledge of this biology is then used to identify appropriate targeted treatment options, personalising therapy in an area of unmet clinical need.
- Cancer research
- Personalised medicine
- Novel treatment options
Dr Niamh Buckley
Dr Burden’s research is focused on dissecting molecular mechanisms by which proteases contribute to normal physiological processes and inflammatory disease biology.
Research from her group has discovered that Cathepsin S transcriptionally regulates CCL2, promoting macrophage recruitment to colorectal tumours, while evaluation of ER+ breast cancers has identified elevated Cathepsin V expression is associated with reduced survival.
The overall objective of her research is to understand the complexity of protease biology and determine their feasibility as biomarkers and drug discovery targets.
Protease, Cathepsin, Cancer, Tumour, Microenvironment, Metastasis, Drug Discovery, Biomarker, Inflammation, Angiogenesis.
- Protease biology
- Inhibitor development (small molecule and biological inhibitors)
Dr Roberta Burden
The main focus of Dr Burrows’s research team is the identification and characterisation of proteases which potentially represent targets for drug discovery.
The main focus is USP17, a deubiquitinase overexpressed in multiple cancers and required for tumour growth and metastases. Dr Burrows has been at the forefront of studies characterising its biological role and assessing its credentials as a therapeutic target.
He also has an interest in bacterial proteases which contribute to antimicrobial resistance, with the aim of identifying potential antimicrobial targets.
Finally, through his work on proteases, Dr Burrows has also developed an interest in intracellular trafficking, particularly the trafficking of receptors and nanoparticles upon endocytosis.
Protease, ubiquitin, deubiquitinating, cancer, USP17
- USP17 as a therapeutic target in cancer
- Targeting bacterial proteases as an antimicrobial strategy
Dr James Burrows
Dr. Carmali's research sits at the interface of chemistry, biology, and material science to help engineer novel materials for biomedical applications. A strong interest is to use polymer-based strategies that can improve or add on new functionalities to biomacromolecules. Research has focused on the rational design of synthetic tools and protein-polymer constructs with enhanced stability and function, along with development of stimuli-responsive materials for protein drug delivery. Other areas of interest include the use of computational techniques to help understand and predict the impact of protein modification and/or protein – polymer interactions with the aim to help guide future experimental designs in biotherapeutics.
- Protein-drug delivery
- Polymer-based protein engineering
- Stimuli-responsive or smart materials
- Bio-inspired drug delivery
Dr Sheiliza Carmali
Dr Carson’s research team are focused on alleviating the clinical complications faced by the use of implantable medical devices (such as pacemakers, joint prostheses, etc.), namely the host response towards the foreign implanted material and device-associated infection.
This research focuses on 2 main themes: biomaterial compatibility (including the Foreign Body Response), and the design of anti-infective materials resistant to bacterial biofilm formation.
The overall objective is to develop improved biomaterials that are better tolerated by the body.
- Biomaterial design, synthesis and characterisation
- Host-material inflammatory response (cell biology)
- Microbiological evaluation of biomaterials (bacterial biofilm formation)
Dr Louise Carson
Professor Chen’s research focuses on the vast potential of natural peptide libraries contained in venomous secretions from arthropods, amphibians and reptiles as a source of novel drug candidates for conditions such as hypertension, cancer, diabetes and drug-resistant bacterial infections.
The key area has included the isolation, structural identification and activity evaluation of novel antimicrobial peptides against ESKAPE pathogens, smooth muscle contractile agonists/antagonists, serine protease inhibitors and anticancer peptides, as well as the investigation of their mechanisms.
- Peptide science
- Anti-cancer drug development
Professor Tianbao Chen
Caoimhe’s scientific research is interdisciplinary and built around the key themes of medicinal chemistry and drug transportation. Her research utilises modern biotechnology to understand the expression and activity of key transporter proteins and their role in the pathology of various inflammatory diseases.
Caoimhe is a member of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientist (AAPS), the American Physiological Society and COST Action. Caoimhe is also the proud recipient of Trinity College Post-graduate Scholarship which aims to merit students based on academic merit.
Dr. Caoimhe Clerkin received her PhD in Biopharmaceutics, in 2018, from the School of Pharmacy, Trinity College Dublin. Following this, she took up a position as a postdoctoral researcher within the Department of Molecular Medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland. In 2019, she was appointed as a Lecturer within the School of Pharmacy at China Medical University- Queen’s University Belfast Joint College (CQC), located in Shenyang, People’s Republic of China. Here, Caoimhe contributes to the development of new and innovative curricula for pharmaceutical and biotechnology students. As a result, Caoimhe is involved in pedagogical research to understand and stimulate a higher level of cognitive learning by investigating students' attitude to scientific subjects, the impact of student co-designers on their own curriculum in partnership with Queen's University Partnership Programme) and understanding students' requirements for online transnational education.This research has the potential to foster a commitment to life-long education in students, to help them to work efficiently and effectively within a multi-disciplinary team, and provide them with the required skills to become world leaders in healthcare provision.
Nanotechnology Drug Delivery, Lipid Nanocapsules, Liposomes, smartCrystals, Skin, Antioxidants, Anti-Inflammatory Agents
Dr Caoimhe Clerkin
Dr Coulter’s team focus on understanding key mechanisms which contribute to cancer resistance, developing novel therapeutic strategies to overcome these. Typically, these are alterations within the tumour microenvironment e.g. hypoxia or altered tumour metabolism.
We employ emerging pharmaceutical engineering technologies (3D-printing, microfluidics) to design novel nanomedicine solutions to solve challenges such as poorly soluble drugs. Such examples include developing controlled release platforms for sustained delivery of novel nanotherapeutics or exploiting active targeting to counter pro-survival responses to existing therapeutics.
Ultimately, the primary objective of our research is to identify novel sensitising adjuvants to existing cancer treatments, with protectable IP, that will ultimately deliver patient benefit.
- Metalic/Gold nanoparticles
- Tumour metabolism
- Tumour microenvironment
- Targeted delivery
- Targeted Immunotherapy
Dr Jonathan Coulter
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.
- 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.
Professor Ryan Donnelly
Dr Furlong’s research team are dedicated to understanding the pharmacology and mechanisms of action of drug responses in breast and ovarian cancer cells.
Her research focuses on the application of molecular and cell biology approaches to detect the pathways of good and poor responses to cancer therapies.
The objective of this research is the development of clinically actionable drug combinations and predictive biomarkers to improve therapy choices for patients.
- Cancer pharmacology
- Breast and Ovarian cancer
- Mechanism of drug action
- Stratification biomarker development
- Cell and molecular biology
Dr Fiona Furlong
Dr Yi Ge has extensive research experience in academia and pharmaceutical industry, and have received comprehensive trainings in different areas of pharmaceutical science, including pharmaceutics, pharmaceutical nanotechnology, therapeutics and medicinal chemistry. He also has actively engaged with some other related research areas, such as nanomedicine, advanced sensor technology and medical diagnostics & devices, throughout his studies and careers. His research further involves in a great deal of collaboration with Institute/University, NHS/hospital and industrial in the fields of pharmaceutical science and biomedical science, both nationally and internationally.
- Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine
- Molecular Imprinting and Smart Materials
- Biosensors and Advanced Sensing Technology
- Theranostics and Drug Delivery
Dr Yi Ge
Prof Gilmore’s research team are focused on understanding the processes which govern bacterial biofilm formation and tolerance to antibiotics, and the discovery of novel antibiotics and disinfectant approaches. His recent work has included the application of cold plasmas for biofilm decontamination, discovery of novel antibiotics and biocatalytic enzymes from extremely halophilic microorganisms (using both culture-based and metagenomic approaches) and uncovering novel druggable targets in bacterial biofilm formation among the ESKAPE pathogens using molecular tools to identify and inhibit proteolytic enzymes involved in biofilm development, as adjuvants to conventional antimicrobial agents.
- Biofilm microbiology
- Antimicrobial discovery
- Bacterial protease biochemistry
- Host pathogen interactions
- Microbial biocatalysis.
Professor Brendan Gilmore
Our research team is focussed on investigating infection in chronic lung disease. We are currently focussed on determining the contribution of the many microbes present in the lung, to development of disease and exacerbation in cystic fibrosis, COPD and bronchiectasis. Projects currently ongoing in our lab range from determining the effect of cigarette smoke and electronic cigarette vapour on the key lung pathogens, investigating the significance of MRSA infection in the lungs of people with CF and developing novel outcome measures for assessing antimicrobial efficacy in the CF lung.
- Respiratory microbiology and molecular biology
- Antimicrobial discovery and repurposing.
Dr Deirdre Gilpin
My doctoral work focussed on evidence-based practice, over-the-counter consultations and decision-making in community pharmacy practice. I gained public, pharmacists, trainees, and undergraduate pharmacy students’ perspectives on this.
Currently, my main research and scholarly focus is pharmacy education. I have published pedagogical work in internationally recognised journals on various topics including: assessment, feedback, goal orientations and academic performance, empathy, mental health, resilience, professionalism, preparedness for practice, moral reasoning, transition from secondary to tertiary education, and factors affecting career choice of pharmacy.
pharmacy education; preparedness for practice; undergraduate students; learning, teaching and assessment.
Professor Lezley-Anne Hanna
Dr Hatahet joined Queen’s University in May 2018 from University of Rennes 1, where he was a Teaching and Research Fellow at the faculty of pharmacy.
His research is focussed on developing novel nanomaterials for delivering a broad range of therapeutic agents, and to fabricate multifunctional nanoparticles to target cancer and other diseases. He is also in interested in improving the physiochemical properties of poorly water-soluble drugs to enhance bioavailability with nanotechnology formulations like nanocrystals. His long-term research career is to facilitate the translation of nanoparticle-based systems from the lab to the clinic using scalable technologies like milling and high-pressure homogenization. Current research themes are concerned with:
(1) Lipid based nano-systems for the targeted drug delivery to skin tissue
(2) Nanocrystals for poorly water-soluble drugs
(3) Novel topical therapies for skin cancers and skin inflammatory diseases.
Nanotechnology Drug Delivery, Lipid Nanocapsules, Liposomes, smartCrystals, Skin, Antioxidants, Anti-Inflammatory Agents
- The use of nanotechnology to enhance drug delivery to the skin and other body surfaces.
- Delivery of natural antioxidants to treat inflammatory skin disease.
- Development of next-generation vaginal gels containing multiple active agents for improved treatment of bacterial vaginosis https://1drv.ms/b/s!ArY1IpVL3bkcqCNxbYFIraBYHF8-
Dr Taher Hatahet
My research mainly utilise longitudinal electronic healthcare databases to evaluate medication use in neonates and children, particular antibiotics. I also development methods to evaluate vaccine effectiveness in community setting.
Antimicrobial resistance, paediatric population, pharmacoepidemiology
- Antibiotic resistance in paediatric population
- The development of a methodology to quantify antimicrobial resistance in developing countries
Dr Yingfen Hsia
Carmel M. Hughes is Professor of Primary Care Pharmacy. Her main research interests are long-term care for older people, appropriate prescribing, the interface between general practitioners and pharmacists, evidence-based health care and the contribution of pharmacy to the global health agenda. She is also interested in the development of interventions and core outcome sets (COS). She uses a variety of methodologies in her research, including qualitative techniques and a range of quantitative methods, including randomised controlled trials.
Primary care; older people; long-term care; evidence-based health care; prescribing; intervention development; global health
- Primary care
- Older people
- Medicines optimisation
- Most projects which students undertake are mixed methods in nature i.e. using both qualitative and quantitative approaches, including trials.
Professor Carmel Hughes
Professor Jones' research seeks to provide materials science/engineering solutions to medical and pharmaceutical problems.
These include patented innovations in the design of drug containing implants and medical devices to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with medical device related infection. Within the pharmaceutical domain, Professor Jones has developed novel, patented implants for the treatment of local diseases within the oral cavity, the vagina and the eye (anterior and posterior) and has developed and applied innovative engineering technologies to develop new drug delivery systems for oral administration.
- Novel bioactive biomaterials as implants
- Implantable (mucoadhesive) drug delivery systems for application to the oral cavity, vagina and eye
- Novel engineering strategies for improved medical device and dosage form performance
Professor David S. Jones FREng
Dr. Kearney is a registered pharmacist and Lecturer in Pharmacy Education. Prior to this, Mary-Carmel worked as a Teaching Associate and a Research Fellow at the School of Pharmacy.
Mary-Carmel’s teaching is primarily focused on the pharmacy practice elements of the MPharm course including Proprietary Dispensing and Responding to Symptoms. She is also co-ordinator for the Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) at the School. She is interested in the expanding clinical roles within pharmacy and is involved in the delivery of the Independent Prescribing programme. Mary-Carmel also continues to work as a locum pharmacist, something she believes is invaluable to her teaching.
- Proprietary Dispensing
- Responding to Symptoms.
Dr Mary-Carmel Kearney
Dr Kelly’s research is centred on microbiome analysis and functional exploitation for pharmaceutical and healthcare applications. His interests include the exploitation of microbiomes from extreme environments for the production of biocatalytic enzymes for the pharmaceutical industry, as well as microbiome monitoring of clinical environments to improve healthcare outcomes.
Microbiome, Biocatalysis, Biotechnology, Extremophile
Dr Stephen Kelly
Dr Vicky Kett (PI) has a PhD in pharmaceutics from the London School of Pharmacy (now UCL). Prior to that she completed a BSc and MSc in chemistry at the University of Kent with studies in Jena, Germany.
She has been an academic at QUB since 2000 and In 2002 she was awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry Thermal Methods Group Cyril Keattch award, and is current Past Chair of the group. Dr Kett has authored over 100 journal, conference publications and book chapters and patents. Her research has been funded by a range of RCUK, EU and industrial sources.
Dr Kett’s team aims to make drugs more effective through targeted delivery and improved stability. We use drying technologies and thermal analysis to help in this goal. We have improved freeze-drying methods for commercial formulations including antibiotics, hormones and vaccines. We have also developed a range of formulations that stabilise sensitive drugs and improve their uptake across biological barriers including mucosal tissue and biofilm. We work extensively in the use of thermal techniques to detect and characterise amorphous and polymorphic systems.
- Novel mucosal delivery of biofilm penetrating antibiotics
- Vaccine delivery via mucosal routes
- Novel spray-dried powders for delivery to the lung
Dr Vicky Kett
The Lamprou Research Lab, is focusing in Emerging Technologies (e.g., 3D Printing & Bioprinting, Electrospinning, Microfluidics & Lab-on-a-chip, and BioMEMS) for Drug Delivery Systems and Medical Devices & Implants. Our research lab offers an excellent environment for research with several laboratories that are fitted with state-of-the-art equipment. Our recent research focuses on three major areas using Emerging Technologies: nanoparticles for imaging & therapeutic applications, lab-on-a-chip & microfluidic devices, and implants for therapeutic delivery & tissue engineering.
- 3D Printed drug delivery systems & medical devices.
- Bioprinting applications in drug delivery systems and tissue engineering.
- 4D printing in cancer management.
- Manufacturing of nanofibers for drug delivery and tissue engineering applications.
- Nanomedicine development using microfluidics.
Prof Dimitrios Lamprou
Dr .Larrañeta is currently working on the development of implantable devices for sustained drug delivery. Dr. Larrañeta and his team are working on the development of new materials and devices capable of providing long-acting drug delivery to treat chronic conditions. In this way, drug release profiles can be tailored to the specific applications adapting to patient's needs. Dr. Larrañeta and his team are expert on the use of modern techniques such as 3D printing to produce this type of devices.
Long-acting drug delivery / Implantable devices / Medical devices / 3D-printing
Dr Eneko Larraneta
Dr. Laverty's Biofunctional Nanomaterials group research the development of unique materials for biomedical applications based on the building blocks of life (e.g. peptides). These form nanofibrous hydrogels in the presence of specific physiological stimuli (e.g. pH, temperature, enzymes). They have huge potential within the fields of drug delivery, biomaterials and medicinal chemistry, with the group's focus primarily on the development of long acting injectables to improve patient adherence to medication (e.g. in HIV, contraception, antipsychotics, cancer, antimicrobials).
- Peptide-based hydrogel materials as long acting injectables, within drug delivery, biomaterials and as antimicrobials.
Dr Garry Laverty
Dr Shu Li's research interests cover the development of novel pharmaceutical dosage forms via innovative manufacturing. Shu specialises particularly in the use of continuous manufacturing techniques, such as hot-melt extrusion, multilayer co-extrusion to enhance the bioavailability of poorly absorbed drugs in order to increase their clinical efficacy when administered orally. Formulation strategies familiar to Dr Li include the design and preparation of amorphous solid dispersions and novel multi-component pharmaceutical materials (such as pharmaceutical cocrystals). She is also interested in extending her field of research to enabling formulations with customisable platform designs, such as flexible-dose combination products, for stratified treatment and precision medicine. This includes understanding and determination of multi-component behaviour and interactions as well as understanding and predicting the influences such inter-species network may exert on the bioavailability and efficacy of the final dosage forms. To achieve high level of comprehension, a number of analytical techniques are routinely used including thermal analysis (DSC, TGA, DMA), vibrational spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, thermo and polarised-light microscopy, High Performance Liquid Chromatography, Gas Chromatography, vapour sorption, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy and theoretical modelling.
- Multi-component pharmaceutical materials (including pharmaceutical cocrystals)
- Mechanochemical synthesis
- Enabling formulation strategies and medical device preparation via hot-melt extrusion.
Dr Shu Li
Karl's research interests lie primarily within the pharmaceutical sciences, and particularly in the application of drug delivery technologies to women's sexual and reproductive health. Current research projects are focused on development of drug-releasing vaginal rings for HIV prevention, hormonal and non-hormonal contraception, new treatments for sexually transmitted infections and bacterial vaginosis, and development of new multipurpose prevention technology products. New areas of emerging research include drug-releasing subdermal implants and silicone elastomer breast implants for reduced incidence of capsular contracture.
• modified release drug delivery systems
• sustained and controlled release
• women’s sexual and reproductive health
• vaginal drug delivery
• vaginal ring technology
• polymeric drug delivery devices
• subdermal implants
• injection molding and extrusion technologies
• human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
• HIV microbicides
• non-hormonal contraception
• antiretrovirals for HIV prevention
• multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs)
• mucosal vaccination
• silicone elastomers
- modified release drug delivery systems
- sustained and controlled release
- vaginal drug delivery
- vaginal ring technology
- polymeric drug delivery devices
- injection molding and extrusion technologies
- human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- HIV microbicides
- antiretrovirals for HIV prevention
- multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs)
- mucosal vaccination
- silicone elastomers
- ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymers
- in vitro release testing of drug dosage forms
- protein drug delivery
- long-acting contraceptives
- long-acting injectables
- 3D-printing of drug delivery systems
- bacterial vaginosis (BV)
- estrogen replacement therapy
- cervical ripening
- induction of labour
Professor Karl Malcolm
Dr Maryam Malekigorji is a lecturer (education) and Programme Director for BSc Pharmaceutical Science Programme in China Queen’s College (CQC).
As a pharmacist with research background in pharmaceutics, I am committed to delivering high quality teaching in various BSc and MPharm modules. I act as the School Ethics Designated Reviewer and CQC Staff-Student Consultative Committee Liaison Officer. I have led the introduction of a number of key interventions which have brought about improvements in educational outcomes in CQC, including the use of flipped classroom blended with team-based learning approach, classroom response system and room of the future (MashMe) video collaborative platform.
The focus of my research is the development of a range of multifunctional nanoparticles and their translation into medical therapies. I have particular interest in the preparation and evaluation of hybrid metallic nanoparticles as nano-heaters and thermoresponsive carriers for diagnosis and therapy of pancreatic and prostate cancers.
Nanomedicine, Metallic Nanoparticles, Photothermal Ablation, Thermoresponsive Drug Delivery, Cancer Therapy
- Not currently accepting PhD students
Dr Maryam Malekigorji
The focus of the Martin group is to understand the diverse roles that active proteases play in the progression of chronic airways diseases, such as cystic fibrosis (CF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), to include the characterisation of novel cellular proteins and pathways. A central theme is the development of therapeutic strategies to combat airways dehydration, a key factor contributing to disease progression, as well as the characterisation of novel biomarkers to aid earlier diagnosis and disease management.
Cystic fibrosis, COPD, proteases, ENaC, ion channels, infection, inflammation.
- Ion channel modulation,
- Proteases as potential biomarkers and therapeutics targets
- Infection and inflammation
- Chronic diseases, to include respiratory diseases and chronic wounds.
Professor Lorraine Martin
Prof McCarthy’s research team are dedicated to the development of non-viral delivery systems for nanomedicine applications. These delivery systems are designed to overcome the extra and intracellular biological barriers, so that the macromolecular payload can be delivered at the destination site in order to exert the optimal therapeutic effect.
The objective of the activity is in the design and synthesis of nanotechnologies as local and systemic delivery systems for DNA, RNAi, miRNA, mRNA nanoparticle vaccines and therapies.
Nanomedicine; Drug Delivery; Cancer; Non-Viral; Peptides; Nucleic Acids; Gene Therapy; Vaccines; Bone Regeneration; Wound Healing; Bioengineering; Biomaterials.
- Development of nanomedicines for cancer
- Design of non-viral delivery systems
Professor Helen McCarthy
Professor McCoy's research involves development of biomaterials which are resistant to infection. In particular, his research exploits triggered drug delivery using light, heat, chemical or electrical stimuli to either modulate the properties of materials or directly release bioactive molecules. He also materials for detecting and monitoring species such as drugs, explosives and biological anions.
His research is both fundamental and applied, with funders including EPSRC, the Royal Society and global medical device companies. He is author of more than 100 publications and patents in journals including Nature, Journal of the American Chemical Society and Pharmaceutical Research.
- Drug delivery
- Sensor development
- SMART materials and medical device enhancement.
- Polymer and small-molecule synthesis
- Materials characterisation
- Biological and microbiological performance
Professor Colin McCoy
Professor McElnay's research focuses on approaches to improve medication adherence, methods of identifying poor adherence and improving medicines management in patients receiving polypharmacy. The most recent developments have been in the field of IT approaches to assist medication adherence, including direct observation of therapy (DOT) using mobile phone technology. The use of dried blood spot ampling to assess adherence also forms an integral aspect of current research.
Professor James McElnay
Dr McErlean’s research focuses on the design and development of cell penetrating peptide delivery systems for gene therapy targeting neurological diseases and for ex vivo adoptive cellular therapies. Her work brings together a unique combination of expertise in nanomedicine, drug delivery, biotechnology and biopharmaceuticals.
Open to PhD applications in the field of nano-drug delivery, biopharmaceutics, nucleic acid therapies and ex vivo cellular therapies.
Development of nanomedicines for cancer and neurological diseases
Design of non-viral delivery systems
Cell Penetrating Peptides
Ex vivo Adoptive Cell Therapies
Dr Emma McErlean
Our Group’s work focuses on the design of novel materials for controlled drug delivery. Our aim is to develop novel formulations for improving the treatment of diseases that are incurable to date or challenging to treat. To this purpose, we use a wide variety of technological tools including nanoparticles and polymeric materials combined together in order to deliver drugs to their targets in a more efficient manner. We have a strong focus on infectious diseases, but we are also interested in psychedelic drugs, gene therapy, wound healing, and food science, among others.
Nanocrystals, pharmacokinetics, lymphatic targeting, brain targeting, HIV
Dr. Alejandro J. Paredes
Dr Parsons’ research interest focus on prescribing and use of medicines for people with life-limiting illness. She is interested in pain recognition, assessment and management in people with advanced dementia who are nearing the end of life, and medication management and optimisation for people with other terminal illnesses, including advanced cancer.
The objective of this research activity is to improve prescribing and symptom management for people and ultimately improve care for people with terminal illness.
medicines optimisation, prescribing, palliative care, hospice care, advanced dementia, cancer
- Medicines use and optimisation in palliative, hospice and end of life care
Dr Carole Parsons
Dr. Laura Sherrard is a qualified pharmacist registered with the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland. To date, she has been involved in research studies investigating lung infections (e.g. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, non-tuberculous mycobacteria) in people with chronic diseases including cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis. Her major research interests include understanding the adaptation of bacteria to cause chronic infections, characterising mechanisms conferring antimicrobial resistance and studying the microbiome and the epidemiology and transmission of bacterial pathogens.
- Clinical pharmacy
- Molecular biology
- Microbial genomics
Dr Laura Sherrard
Prof Raj Thakur’s research team in QUB focuses on research on the application of polymeric biomaterials in developing novel drug delivery systems. In particular, research areas of interest include preformed and injectable long-acting implants, particles-based systems, protein therapeutics, microneedles, and medical devices for precision drug delivery. Controlled release ocular drug delivery of small molecules and biologics in treating age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma is of primary interest. Other research interests include transdermal and topical drug delivery.
Thakur is the author of more than 150 scientific publications, including 60 peer-reviewed research papers, 13 book chapters and 5 textbooks. He has given several invited talks and contributed presentations worldwide and is an inventor on more than 5 pending patents. His ocular drug delivery research has led to formation of a spinout company, Re-Vana Therapeutics Ltd. He is currently acting as the CTO for Re-Vana and Chair of Ocular Delivery (OcD) Focus Group, Controlled Release Society (CRS).
Ocular drug delivery
Microparticles drug delivery
Nanoparticles drug delivery
- Controlled drug delivery systems for treating a range of chronic disorders
- Small and Biologics delivery using novel platforms such as injectable implants, preformed implants, microparticles and nanoparticles for treating a range of ocular disorders
- Synthesis and characterisation of block copolymers
- Electrospinning based drug delivery systems for improved topical drug delivery
- Thermoresponsive and in situ depot forming hydrogel-based systems
- Nanoparticles-based to provided improved drug loading and penetration properties across biological barriers
- Microneedles as minimally invasive delivery systems for transscleral and transcorneal delivery
- Medical devices for ocular and transdermal applications
Prof Thakur Raghu Raj Singh
Dr Skvortsov’s team studies bacterial viruses and bacteriophage-derived antimicrobial agents for the detection, control and elimination of pathogenic bacteria and their biofilms.
Other areas of interest include:
Metagenomics and metatranscriptomics of complex microbial communities;
Horizontal gene transfer of antimicrobial resistance and virulence determinants;
Bacteriophages, antimicrobial resistance, genomics, bioinformatics, protein modelling, microbiomes, genetic engineering, biofilms, protein evolution, synthetic biology, endolysins, depolymerases
- Biology, ecology and genomics of bacteriophages
- Directed evolution and genetic engineering of phages
- Phage therapy
- Microbial bioinformatics
- Molecular microbiology
- Microbial biocatalysis and biocatalyst engineering
- Microbiome modulation
- Horizontal gene transfer
- Antibiofilm agents
Dr Timofey Skvortsov
Dr Tian’s research seeks to resolve several scientific problems of fundamental and economic significance that emphasise the design and engineering aspects of pharmaceuticals. They ranged from developing intelligent analytics and models to unravel the mechanisms of drug absorption to advanced engineering technologies for producing nanomedicines. More importantly, Dr Tian has attracted over £1M in competitive funding from the Medical Research Council, Royal Academy of Engineering, InnovateUK, and InvestNI to drive the clinical translation of a continuous, flexible and green manufacturing technology for global access to affordable antifungal medicines.
Thermodynamic modelling, continuous manufacturing, liquid-liquid phase separation, digital innovation, non-classical nucleation, in vitro transcellular permeation, high throughput screening, nanocarriers, amorphous solids, invasive fungal infections.
- Investigation phase behaviours of drug-polymer blends within hot-melt extrusion
- The thermodynamic and kinetic understanding of drug-polymer binary systems
- Development of a nanomedicine for visceral leishmanaiasis
Dr Yiwei Tian
The focus of our research efforts is to facilitate understanding biomolecule interactions and function employing computational tools and, using the gained knowledge, to develop novel computer-aided drug design strategies and design new small molecule ligands. The current targets of our interest include G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs).
- Multiscale modelling of biomolecular systems (peptides, proteins, allosteric drugs and membrane)
- Pharmaceutical materials (hydrogels and polymers)
- Nanostructures to improve therapeutic targeting
- Diagnostic applications.
Dr Irina Tikhonova
Research in my group is focused on the use of (i) enhanced culture techniques, including culture of anaerobic bacteria and (ii) non culture methods based methods (next- generation sequencing, sensor technology) to improve the detection and treatment of lung infection in patients with respiratory diseases such as cystic fibrosis (CF), bronchiectasis and COPD.
We are also working extensively with academic and industrial partners to develop rapid point-of-care methods for detection of respiratory infection and to develop novel antibiotic treatments.
- Molecular and sensor based diagnostics for infection with a focus on chronic respiratory diseases
- Role of the airway microbiome in health and disease
- Bacterial pathogenesis, antimicrobial resistance and assessment of novel antibiotics and delivery methods.
Professor Michael Tunney
Professor Wagner joined Queen’s University in October 2019 from King’s College London, where he was a founding member of the new Department of Chemistry.
His research is focussed on the development of chemical tools to address fundamental challenges in biology, biotechnology and medicine. He is particularly interested in the role of complex glycans and carbohydrates in infection, inflammation and cancer. Current research themes are concerned with:
(1) Covalent inhibitors and probes to study antimicrobial resistance
(2) Chemical glycoengineering of biopharmaceuticals
(3) Carbohydrate-active enzymes as targets for drug discovery
medicinal chemistry, chemical biology, organic synthesis, carbohydrate chemistry, nucleotide chemistry, antimicrobial resistance, enzymology, bioassays, glycobiology, drug discovery
- Small molecule synthesis (e.g., carbohydrates, nucleotides, heterocycles)
- Protein biochemistry, enzymology and bioassays
Professor Gerd Wagner
Dr. Wang’s research focuses on isolation, structural characterisation and evaluation of natural peptides, performing structure-activity relationships to optimize the bioactivity of peptides as a method of rational drug design and in investigating the mechanisms of their action. A further area of research is the use of electrospray mass spectrometry employing MS/MS fragmentation to achieve the complete molecular characterisation of novel peptide/protein biomarkers of neuroendocrine cancers and in defining tumour subtypes according to their known variation in invasive and metastatic potential.
- Isolation structural characterisation and pharmacological evaluation of natural peptides and proteins that have therapeutic potential as lead drug candidates.
Dr Lei Wang
Dr Wylie’s research is focused on the development of infection-resistant materials and surface modification strategies, and sensor technologies for the prevention of medical device-related infections and improved healthcare infection control. In addition we develop stimuli-responsive drug delivery systems, for delivery of antimicrobials, using hydrogels and ionomers. The group is also involved in the design of enhanced medical device coatings for improved comfort and quality of life for ostomates and intermittent catheter users.
Biomaterials; stimuli-responsive drug delivery; surface modification; infection control
Dr Matthew Wylie
Dr Shuai Zhang’s research mainly involves functional biomaterials and surface engineering. His current research is centered on developing bio-inspired self-cleaning coating technologies for medical devices and fabricating smart nanohybrid materials for early diagnosis of infections. His work also involves the application of novel electron-beam technologies in bone repair materials for enhancement of fracture-healing.
Surface; Biomaterials; Coating; Medical device
Dr Shuai Zhang
Dr Min Zhao’s research is focused on the advanced manufacturing and characterization of oral solid drug delivery systems, aiming to address formulation and quality control challenges associated with poorly water soluble drugs, amorphous pharmaceuticals and personalized medicines. Novel formulation technologies utilised in Dr Zhao’s group range from hot melt extrusion, nano-spray drying, electro-spinning nanofabrication, 3D printing and microwaving in-situ amorphization with relevant solid state characterization including thermal analysis, structural and imaging techniques and quality control.
- Advanced polymeric dosage forms for oral administration
- Amorphous solid dispersions and In-situ Amorphization
- Personalised medicines
- Taste masking for paediatric medicines
- Fixed dose combination for geriatric medicines and cancer therapy
Dr Min Zhao
Dr Zhou’s research interest is in the isolation, structural identification, pharmacological study and structural modification of peptides from a wide range of natural sources, with a focus on the peptides from the venoms of amphibians, scorpions and snakes, for the purpose of discovery and development of novel peptide drugs or drug leads.
The major categories of peptides that are being studied include antimicrobial peptides, protease inhibitory peptides, anti- and pro- angiogenic peptides, and cancer cytotoxic peptides.
- Natural bioactive peptide discovery
- Peptide pharmacology
- Therapeutic peptide design and development
Dr Mei Zhou