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Overview

My research focus involves investigating targeted drug delivery to the cornea of the eye via medicated contact lenses and mucoadhesive thin films. Currently, the delivery of drugs to the cornea of the eye is invariably achieved via the instillation of eye drops. This, however, is an outdated and highly inefficient approach because the medication is immediately diluted by the tears and quickly eliminated by washout and nasolacrimal drainage. Indeed, it is estimated that around 75% of the dose is lost within the first few blinks. There is a real need, therefore, for new technologies to deliver a wide range of medications, singularly or in combination, to the cornea in an efficient and targeted manner. The aim of my project is to develop and prepare for market a range of drug-loaded therapeutic contact lenses and purpose-made degradable thin films for the targeted and controlled-release delivery of medication to the cornea.

Biography

EDUCATIONAL AND PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

2010 – 2014: PhD, Understanding the structural basis of corneal refractive function and its modification via novel therapeutic approaches, Structural Biophysics Group, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University.

2009 – 2010: PGCE Secondary Science (11-16), Swansea School of Education, Swansea Metropolitan University (Swansea School of Education).

2008 – 2009: Distinction MSc Biomedical Sciences Research, Faculty of Medical and Veterinary Sciences, University of Bristol (Faculty of Medical and Veterinary Sciences).

2003 – 2006: 2:1 BSc (Hons) Biochemistry with Molecular Biology, School of Biosciences, Cardiff University.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

2016 – Present: Cardiff University Research Staff Association (CURSA) Representative

2011 – Present: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Ambassador

2012 – 2013: Chair of Cardiff Institute of Tissue Engineering and Repair (CITER) Soc

PUBLICATIONS

Pasqualetto, G. et al. 2020. Computational Studies towards the Identification of Novel Rhodopsin-Binding Compounds as Chemical Chaperones for Misfolded Opsins. Molecules. 25(21): 4904. (10.3390/molecules25214904).

Morgan, S.R. et al. 2020. Establishment of long-term ostracod epidermal culture. In Vitro Cell.Dev.Biol.-Animal. (10.1007/s11626-020-00508-8).

Morgan, S.R. et al. 2020. Controlled in vitro delivery of Voriconazole and Diclofenac to the cornea using contact lenses for the treatment of Acanthamoeba Keratitis. Int J Pharm. 579: 119102. (10.1016/j.ijpharm.2020.119102).

Hewitt, M.G., et al. 2020. In Vitro topical delivery of Chlorhexidine to the cornea: enhancement using drug-loaded contact lenses and β-cyclodextrin complexation, and the importance of simulating tear irrigation. Mol Pharmaceutics. 17(4), pp. 1428-1441. (10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.0c00140).

Morgan, S.R. et al. 2018. Microwave treatment of the cornea leads to localised disruption of the extracellular matrixSci Rep. 8, 13742. (10.1038/s41598-018-32110-0).

Morgan, S.R. et al. 2016. Early wound healing of LASIK-like flaps following treatment with human corneal stromal stem cells. Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery. 42(2), pp. 302-309. (10.1016/j.jcrs.2015.09.023).

Jessop, Z.M. et al. 2016. Combining regenerative medicine strategies to provide durable reconstructive options: auricular cartilage tissue engineering. Stem Cell Res Ther. 7: 19. (10.1186/s13287-015-0273-0).

Hayes, S. et al. 2015. A study of stromal riboflavin absorption in ex vivo porcine corneas using new and existing delivery protocols for corneal cross-linking. Acta Ophthalmologica. 94(2), pp. 109-117. (10.1111/aos.12884).

Morgan, S.R. et al. 2013. An x-ray scattering study into the structural basis of corneal refractive function in an avian model. Biophysical Journal. 104(12), pp. 2586-2594. (10.1016/j.bpj.2013.04.053).

Boote, C. et al. 2012. Quantitative assessment of ultrastructure and light scatter in mouse corneal debridement wounds. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 53(6), pp. 2786-2795. (10.1167/iovs.11-9305).

Honours and awards

  • CITER Seedcorn bursary 2019-2020 - (July 2020)
  • EGAS Funding Award through the OPTOM RESCOM Committee - (May 2020)
  • Women in Vison UK 2020 Cornea and Ocular Surface Gordon Research Conference Travel Award - (January 2020).
  • CITER Contribution and Engagement Award – An award of £200 for outstanding contribution to CITER engagement and outreach activities throughout the academic year (September 2019).
  • Funding for Interdisciplinary Activities - CITER Soc proposal accepted by the University Graduate College, Cardiff University (2013).
  • CITER conference bursary - CITER, Cardiff University (2013).
  • 1st prize for poster presentation - Bristol Vision Institute: Young Vision Researchers' Colloquium, Cardiff University (2013).
  • 2nd prize for poster presentation - Speaking of Science conference, Cardiff University (2011).
  • 1st prize for poster presentation - British Society for Matrix Biology Spring Meeting, Bristol (2011).

Academic positions

  • Apr 2019 – Present:  Research Associate working in a collaborative project between the Schools of Optometry and Vision Sciences and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Cardiff University.
  • Oct 2016 – Apr 2019: Research Associate, Structural Biophysics Group, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University.
  • Jan 2016 – Sept 2016: Research Associate, Novel modulators of the visual cycle for treatment of retinal degenerations, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University.
  • Jun 2014 – Dec 2015: Research Associate, Investigating the biological induction of maturation and its potential to provide stable tissue engineered cartilage for aesthetic and reconstructive facial surgery, The Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery, ABMU/ReconRegen, and Centre for NanoHealth, Swansea University.
  • 2013 – 2014: Website Administrator, UK Cross-linking Consortium, Cardiff University.

Speaking engagements

  • CITER Soc Workshop - Drug Delivery in Science and Health (Invited Speaker) – Oral presentation title: Drug Delivery to the Cornea of the Eye - presented to sixth form students (150 participants) (Dec 2019).
  • Ninth International Crustacean Congress (ICC 9) - Renaissance Hotel, Washington, D.C., USA – Oral presentation title: The ostracod carapace: Crustacean epithelial culture as a basis for understanding the manufacture of a transparent tough material (May 2018).
  • DSTL Synthetic Biology for Armour and Materials Showcase 2018 - John McIntyre Conference Centre, Edinburgh - Oral presentation title: Ostracod Carapace as a novel transparent material (May 2018).
  • Scientific and Technological Challenges in Defining A New Paradigm for Sustainable Biomaterials workshop – Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, Manchester (Invited Speaker) - Oral presentation title: The ostracod carapace as a novel, transparent material: Understanding the natural mechanism of manufacture (May 2017).

Committees and reviewing

  • Jan 2020 – Present: CITER Executive Committee Member Attend monthly CITER Executive Committee meetings as the Engagement Committee Chair.
  • Jan 2020 – Present: CITER Engagement Committee Chair – Chair the monthly CITER Engagement Committee meetings.
  • Mar 2019 – Present: CITER Research Committee Member – Attend monthly CITER Research Committee meetings as an OPTOM/PHRMY representative.
  • Jan 2017 – Present: CITER Engagement Committee Member – Attend monthly CITER Engagement Committee meetings as an OPTOM representative.

 

Teaching

OP1205: Cells to Systems Lecture (Recorded) – OPTOM, Cardiff University (Oct 2020).

OP1205: Cells to Systems Lecture – OPTOM, Cardiff University (Oct 2017 and Oct 2018).

Supervision of Masters, Erasmus and Final Year project students