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Dr Simon Gaisford
Room 304
UCL School of Pharmacy
29-39 Brunswick Square
  • Head of Department
  • Pharmaceutics
  • UCL School of Pharmacy
  • Faculty of Life Sciences

Dr Gaisford is a Reader in Pharmaceutics and Head of the Department of Pharmaceutics. He joined the School in 2003, having previously been a Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Science at the University of Huddersfield. He undertook his PhD at the University of Kent at Canterbury, under Professor AE Beezer and then held Postdoctoral Research Assistant posts at the School with Profs DQM Craig and G Buckton. Dr Gaisford is an Honorary Teaching Fellow at the University of Manchester, Honorary Treasurer (and Past Chair) of the Thermal Methods Group and Committee Member of the ICSC (both Royal Society of Chemistry). He has published 79 papers, 7 book chapters and 3 books and received the 2006 Stig Sunner award from the US Calorimetry Conference.

Research Themes
Research Summary
The group uses isothermal microcalorimetry and thermal analysis to characterise pharmaceuticals and engineers drug products using ink-jet printing and 3D printing technology.

We use desktop printers in a variety of ways to engineer pharmaceutical powders. For instance, by mounting the print cartridge over liquid nitrogen we can freeze the printed droplets. Freeze-drying the frozen droplets results in porous particles ideal for inhalation. The particles have similar in-vitro performance to commercial dry-powder inhaler formulations but are free of excipients (Eur. J. Pharm. Biopharm. 80 (2012) 149; Int. J. Pharm. 447 (2013) 165). We have also prepared personalised-dose oral wafers by replacing the paper in the printer with a sheet of polymer film and printing drug onto the surface (Pharm. Res. 28 (2011) 2386).

We have shown that the rapid evaporation rates of the droplets upon contact with a substrate favours crystallisation of metastable forms (Cryst. Eng. Comm. 15 (2013) 1031). In collaboration with Sally Price (UCL Chemistry) and Alastair Florence (Strathclyde) we have been awarded £1.24m by EPSRC (EP/K03929/1) for the project 'Computationally designed templates for exquisite control of polymorphic form' (www.cposs.org.uk). Our role is to explore the potential of ink-jet printing for crystal templating. We use fused-filament 3D printing to manufacture individual tablets and devices. Our work has been featured nationally in the Pharmaceutical Journal and Chemistry World.

We also use calorimetry for studying bacteria and our recent work on Probiotics was featured in the Daily Mail, Express, Times and Telegraph.

Teaching Summary

Dr Gaisford teaches in all years of the MPharm degree, delivering lectures on basic pharmaceutics. He also runs a fourth year elective option called Intelligent Design of Medicines, in which basic and advanced methods of physicochemical characterisation are introduced. The correlation of physicochemical parameters with drug product performance is then explored with a series of case studies.

Dr Gaisford was Programme Director of the MSc in Drug Delivery from 2004-2013, a successful postgraduate course that provides transferable skills and knowledge to allow students to progress their careers in either the pharmaceutical industry or in academia. He is now Deputy Programme Director of the MSc in Drug Delivery and has been involved in the development of two new MSc programmes for 2015 entry (MSc in Pharmaceutics and MSc in Drug Formulation and Entrepreneurship). In 2013 he was selected as Lead Academic of the Drug Delivery and Formulation Research Cluster and took over as Head of the Department of Pharmaceutics.

Dr Gaisford also teaches on MSc courses at King's College London, the University of Manchester and the University of Bradford and acts as External Examiner for Cardiff University (MPharm) and Brighton University (MSc).

He recently published his first undergraduate textbook,  Essentials of Pharmaceutical Preformulation (www.wiley.com/buy/978-0-470-97636-4) and has a chapter in the successful  undergraduate text, Aulton's Pharmaceutics.

14-MAR-2012 Reader in Pharmaceutics Pharmaceutics UCL School of Pharmacy, United Kingdom
01-AUG-2007 Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutics Pharmaceutics School of Pharmacy, United Kingdom
23-APR-2003 Lecturer in Pharmaceutics Pharmaceutics School of Pharmacy, United Kingdom
01-NOV-1999 Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Science School of Life Sciences University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom
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