Experimental therapeutics and pharmaceutical sciences (ETPS)

Basic to clinical research developing new and improved therapies and diagnostics toward health and welfare benefits.

Areas of activity

Our research expertise is encompassed within the following areas of activity:

  • formulation science and delivery technologies
  • biological barriers
  • biophysical/Biochemical interfaces
  • receptor and systems pharmacology
  • target ID and validation
  • molecular pathology and models.

Research interests/expertise

  • Elucidating mechanisms of drug action at all levels of organisation, from intracellular sites, membranes and cells through to tissues, organs and intact organisms.
  • Cell signalling, pharmacology and molecular pathology in neurological disease (Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease), cancer (breast, urological, brain), cardiovascular disease, and infection and immunity (e.g. innate immunity, inflammation at surface interfaces).
  • Pharmaceutical microbiology including the study biocide action, formulation preservation, biofilms, antibiotic resistance and the discovery of new anti-microbial agents from natural products.
  • Research at biophysical/biochemical interfaces toward synthetic biology and biotechnology tools, diagnostics, microfluidics, molecular imprinting.
  • Synthesis, characterisation and exploitation of novel biomedical materials (devices, implants, surfaces, nanoparticles, micro-needles).
  • Bio-imaging and technological/biological aspects in the tissue and cellular trafficking of macromolecules.
  • Technological and biological aspects of drug and gene delivery (transcutaneous, pulmonary, intestinal and blood brain barrier).
  • Bio-colloids in pharmaceutical formulations (e.g. Total Parenteral Nutrition).

Academic staff

Researchers in the theme have extensive international and national engagement with external stakeholders.

Staff memberResearch interests
Professor Les BaillieEvolution, ecology and the role of bacteriophages in horizontal gene transfer, detection of Anthrax, pathogenecity of Anthrax, Anthrax - host immune responses, vaccines against Anthrax, therapeutic antibodies.
Professor Gary Baxter (also MOHO)Myocardial and coronary vascular biology, with a special emphasis on the pathophysiology of acute myocardial infarction. Cellular basis of ischaemia-reperfusion injury and mechanisms of cardioprotection.
Professor James BirchallEnhanced delivery of therapeutic macromolecules to the skin via microfabricated microneedles. Delivery of formations via pulmonary routes.
Dr Jenna BowenSepsis and infection, with particular focus on the development of point-of-care diagnostic tools to enable rapid diagnosis, patient stratification and personalisation of therapies.
Dr Oliver CastellTo date my research has been largely focused on the cell membrane and how membrane components such as lipids and proteins function and their spontaneous organisation in response to their environment.
Dr Allan Cosslett
(also MOHO)
Investigating the various aspects of physical and physico-chemical stability of parenteral nutrition admixtures. The application and comparison of particle size analysis equipment. Design and validation of methods and equipment for manufacturing sterile dosage forms and devices. Particulate contamination of intravenous devices and delivery systems. Effectiveness and safety of intravenous lipid emulsions as drug delivery systems. Examination of the effectiveness of intravenous filtration devices.
Dr Sion Coulman
(also MOHO)
My principal research interest is the development of the microneedle device as a non-invasive method for trans/intra-dermal delivery of novel and existing medicines, and the translation of microneedle technology from a laboratory prototype to a clinically useful device.
Dr William Ford
also MOHO)
Cannabinoids in the cardiovascular system, cannaboids in the gastro-intestinal tract, pulmonary inflammation, β-adrenoceptor stimulation and myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion injury.
Dr Julia GeeAnti‑hormone-induced signalling in ER + breast cancer. Mechanisms of anti‑hormone and anti-growth factor resistant breast cancer growth and progression. Novel target discovery and evaluation of new therapies using breast cancer cells in vitro. Signal transduction and biomarker studies in clinical cancer. Hypothesis-driven science surrounding issues at the interface between the nature of biological barriers and experimental therapeutics.
Professor Mark GumbletonIssues at the interface between the nature of biological barriers and experimental therapeutics. Blood-brain-barrier and brain tumour research.
Dr Charles Heard Topical and transdermal drug delivery, development of in vitro models, pro-drugs & co-drugs, topical formulation design (e.g. cream, gel, drug-in-glue patches, medicated dressings), natural products, chemical analysis.
Dr Meike Heurich-SevcencoThe mechanisms of cross-talk between blood based proteolytic cascades of the immune system (complement) and coagulation. Role of complement and coagulation dysregulation and biomarkers in disease. Biomolecular characterization of protein interactions.
Dr Stephen HiscoxHow tumour cells develop a metastatic phenotype, how drug resistance contributes to this process and exploring the role of the tumour microenvironment as a modulator of such behaviour.
Dr Matthew IvorySkin immunology and the formulation of vaccines and other substances for delivery to the skin. In particular, the multiple subsets of dermal dendritic cells and their roles immune responses.
Professor Arwyn JonesI have a major interest in endocytosis and cellular delivery of therapeutic macromolecules. My current projects fall under the overall themes of regulation of endocytosis and endocytic pathways.
Dr Emma KiddCellular and molecular pharmacology to understand more about the mechanisms underlying several disease processes. Ageing in the brain, Alzeimer's disease, development of models of respiratory disease.
Dr Emma Lane
(also MOHO)
Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, L-dopa-induced dyskinesia, Graft-induced dyskinesia, Huntington's Chorea.
Professor Jean Yves MaillardMy research focuses on antimicrobial biocides, an area of continuing global importance due in part to the rise in hospital acquired infections (HAIs) and emerging microbial resistance. 
Dr Rebecca Price-Davies (also MOHO)
Injectable drug stability including combining drugs with parenteral nutrition and storage in ambulatory infusion devices; stability of parenteral nutrition admixtures including development of analytical methods; effects of parenteral nutrition on patient health.
Dr Polina ProkopovichNovel biomedical materials, surface modification techniques, mechanical and surface characterisation of materials and pharmaceuticals, medical devices and microbial infection, phenomena of adhesion and bioadhesion, intermolecular and intersurface forces, friction and wear of  biological systems (native tissues and cells), drug delivery devices, biocolloids.
Dr Kathryn TaylorThe mechanism of action of zinc transporters, regulation of intracellular zinc homeostasis, role of zinc transporters in cell migration, role of zinc and zinc transporters in breast cancer progression.
Dr Chris ThomasAnalysis of skin lipids and correlation with epidermal homeostasis, disease and wound healing processes. Skin cancer models and the interaction of epidermal immune cells. Microbiome and lipidome of the human epidermis.
Dr Rhian ThomasAlzheimer's disease, antibody based therapies, underlying mechanisms of disease.