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  • Reader in Pharmaceutics
  • Pharmaceutics
  • UCL School of Pharmacy
  • Faculty of Life Sciences

I read Pharmacy at the University of Nottingham (1990-1993; 1st Class with Honours) and registered as a pharmacist with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, after a pre-registration year in industry and hospital.  I then gained my PhD degree from The School of Pharmacy, University of London (1998).  I completed a Professional Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (Distinction) at the Institute of Education, University of London (2002) and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Research Summary

My research is in the delivery of drugs, delivery of vaccines, pharmacy and pharmacy education, as detailed below. 

Vaccine delivery

Currently, most vaccines are given by injection, which unfortunately does not always generate the desired immune responses at the desired sites in the body and can cause needle-stick injuries which can transmit diseases to healthcare workers, a considerable problem in low and middle income countries (WHO; http://www.who.int/quantifying_ehimpacts/publications/9241562463/en/).

To address the disadvantages associated with the injection route, my projects have/are focussed on non-injectable routes of vaccination, namely: (i) vaccine administration under the tongue, (ii) vaccine targeting to the colon, following oral administration, and (iii) vaccine application to the skin. These routes induce mucosal immunity and immunity in the vagina and the sublingual and colonic routes are being investigated for vaccination of pregnant women in order to protect the baby from infections such as group B streptococcus which can be transmitted from mother to baby during vaginal birth. 

Drug delivery                                                                                            

Drug delivery for the treatment of fungal infections, for example of the nail.  Formulations such as lacquers, patches, gels and vesicles have been developed for the topical treatment of nail fungal infections. Anti-fungal activity of new drug molecules and of drug combinations (within and without drug carriers) are being measured in an attempt to identify more effective treatments.  Properties of diseased nails have been investigated to understand drug-nail interactions. In vitro-in vivo correlations regarding drug residence at the site of action have been established. 

I co-founded MyCoL (Mycology Community of London; @MyCoL_London), a network of researchers working in mycology. 

Drug delivery for the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis.  Research include formulation of topical anti-leishmania formulations, characterisation of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics following drug administration, characterisation of the diseased skin and development of an in vitro 3-D with flow cell culture model of the disease.

Oral drug delivery.  Women are often excluded or under-represented in clinical trials of medicines and vaccines, even though 8 medicines were withdrawn from the market between 1997 to 2000 due to greater risks of adverse effects in women.  To address this, I am collaborating with Professor Abdul Basit at UCL School of Pharmacy, to understand the influence of an organism’s sex on drug absorption.  We are also investigating the influence of food intake on oral drug absorption.   Previously, we have characterized the gastro-intestinal tract of animals models and developed formulations to target drug absorption at specific sites in the gut.

I am leading a study, which is being conducted in 22 countries, to investigate the influence of an individual’s culture on the perception of the different routes of drug administration such as oral, rectal, by injection.

Teaching Summary

I teach on the MPharm, MSc, PhD and Qualifed Persons programs.  I am the lead for MPharm PHAY 0004. 

I use innovative teaching methods Object-based learning and others such as PeerWise, and led the publication of ‘The Global Pharmacist’ (https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1475338/) following a project to enable our MPharm undergraduates to become Global Pharmacists and Global Citizens. I co-led the ‘Outbreak’ strand of the UCL Global Citizenship Summer School for 3 years (2016-2018).

Research in pharmacy education led to 3 peer-reviewed papers (Pharmacy Education, 15, 189-192, 2015; ibid 5, 97-104; ibid 2, 167-170, 2002) and 2 chapters in ‘Aulton’s Pharmaceutics: The Design and Manufacture of Medicines, 5th edition 2018’, the preeminent pharmaceutics undergraduate textbook for MPharm students. For this book, I also compiled the online self-assessment multiple choice questions (MCQs), writing more than 100 MCQs and editing another 300. 

Academic Background
    ATQ01 - Successfully completed an institutional provision in teaching in the HE sector  
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