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Overview

A member of the Drug Discovery, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics (DDPSET) team at Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

I am a highly collaborative researcher that leads and contributes to interdisciplinary teams of scientific and clinical colleagues from both academic and commercial backgrounds, and I am passionate about the translation of scientific research into demonstrable impact. My educational and professional background is pharmacy and pharmaceutical science, and my current research activities relate to the skin (as an organ and a barrier) and optimization of innovative drug delivery systems.

  • Registered pharmacist 2002-present
  • PhD in drug delivery, Cardiff University, 2007
  • MPharm, University of Wales, Cardiff, 2001

Biography

Career profile

I graduated from the University of Wales, Cardiff in 2001 with an MPharm degree and subsequently moved into my pre-registration year in community pharmacy. In the summer of 2002 I became a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Great Britain and began professional practice as a locum pharmacist, working part-time in the community sector.

This coincided with the beginning of my PhD studies at Cardiff University where I spent three years investigating novel transdermal delivery systems for the delivery and expression of exogenous plasmid DNA in human skin. In 2005, whilst completing my PhD studies, I began a short contract at Cardiff University as a Teaching Fellow and it was during this time that I developed my pedagogic interest in numeracy and medicines-based calculations, which is an area of learning and teaching that I remain passionate about.

In the summer of 2006, after graduating with my PhD, I took up a Lectureship at Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and continued to pursue my scientific interests in the use of microneedles for the delivery of vaccines, biologics and nanoparticles into the skin. During this period I forged strong relationships with colleagues in the Physical Sciences and Engineering and developed a more interdisciplinary approach to my research, adopting novel and state-of-the-art analytical methods (for example optical coherence tomography, materials testing and finite element analysis) from other disciplines and applying them to my research interests. I also developed an interest in the use of Dry Powder Inhalers (DPIs) for pulmonary drug delivery and initiated research activities in this area, in collaboration with Pharma.

In 2014 I was appointed Senior Lecturer and now have an international network of colleagues and collaborators from academic institutions, industry, regulatory bodies and NGOs. I embrace the truly interdisciplinary nature of the teams that I work in and enjoy leading and/or contributing to a range of projects, all of which remain related to the skin and the development, optimisation and performance of dermal or pulmonary drug delivery systems. My emergent interest in the construction and development of a bio-printer for human skin has also stimulated public interest in my work and has led to a number of enjoyable scientific engagement experiences with a range of audiences.

Professional memberships

  • Co-Chair of the Microneedle Array Patch-Regulatory Working Group (MAP-RWG)
  • Steering Committee Member for the International Conference on Microneedles; Co-host of the International Conference on Microneedles 2016
  • Committee Member for the UK and Ireland Controlled Release Society (UKICRS)
  • Member of Cardiff Institute of Tissue Engineering and Repair (CITER)
  • STEM Ambassador

Committees and reviewing

Publications

2021

2020

2019

2018

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2016

2015

2014

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2009

2006

2005

Teaching

    Assessment and Feedback lead for Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

    Pharmaceutical Calculations lead for Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

  • PH1000  Professional Development
  • PH1122  The Role of the Pharmacist in Professional Practice
  • PH1124  Human Body Systems
  • PH2000  Professional Development
  • PH2107  Formulation science
  • PH3000  Professional Development
  • PH3110  Optimisation of Pharmaceutical Care
  • PH3202  Research Methodology
  • PH4000  Professional Development
  • PH4116  Pharmacy research or scholarship project
  • PH4118  Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmacy Practice and the Patient

Research interests

  • The skin as a target and gateway for drug delivery
  • Microneedle devices
  • Capsule based Dry Powder Inhalers (DPIs)
  • The user-device interface
  • Bio-printing human skin
  • Numeracy and medicines-based calculations (Pedagogic research)

My scientific research activities and expertise can be broadly categorized into three workstreams, all of which are related to the skin (as an organ and a barrier to drug delivery) and/or optimization of innovative drug delivery systems

I have worked with microneedle devices since 2002, exploring their potential as a minimally invasive method for trans- and intra-dermal delivery of both novel and established active pharmaceutical ingredients, including a range of biologics and vaccines. I have a particular focus on, and passion for, translating the technology from laboratory prototypes to clinically useful and commercially available products. I have contributed to a range of projects and have considerable technical experience in the evaluation of intra- and trans-dermal delivery systems both ex vivo and in vivo. My expertise and publications include the use of innovative methods to evaluate human skin biomechanics, tissue architecture and local immunology, as well as user studies. I am a co-founder of Extraject technologies, a spin out from Cardiff University, which aims to commercialise minimally invasive systems for cell-based therapy in the skin, and am co-Chair of a Working Group (Microneedle Array Patch - Regulatory Working Group; MAP-RWG), which was initiated in 2018 to help define the regulatory pathway for this dosage form and expedite clinical translation of the technology.

I also work closely with major international Pharma to evaluate the performance of established and innovative capsule products to be used in capsule-based dry powder inhalers (DPIs). I helped develop an in vitro testing methodology for capsules that has been, and continues to be, used by the pharmaceutical industry for product development and quality assurance. My aim is to understand and improve the performance of DPIs both in the laboratory and in the hands of the user.

My third area of interest is 3D bio-printing and, more specifically, the development of a skin model using an affordable and commercially available 3D bio-printing platform. This highly innovative area of research has stimulated significant scientific and public interest, which has facilitated a number of engagement opportunities.

I also have a pedagogic interest in numeracy and medicines-based calculations, with a particular focus on the education of pharmacy students and pharmacists in this area. I have developed a contextualized diagnostic numeracy test that has been used at a number UK Schools of Pharmacy and have contributed to activities that have directly informed the education and training of pharmacy and medical students.

Supervision

Current supervision

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Siamac Parker

Research student