I began my career at Keele University in 1993 in the Department of Chemistry, now part of the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences.  I then joined the Department of Medicines Management in 2005 as Director of Studies (Pharmaceutical Science) and played a major role, alongside others, in the development of the School of Pharmacy and Keele MPharm programme.  My academic position is currently Senior Lecturer in Organic and Medicinal Chemistry and I hold administrative roles within the School and the University.  I was awarded the Keele University Excellence in Learning and Teaching award in 2008 and I was awarded the Institute of Science and Technology in Medicine Research Fellowship for 2015-2016.  I am External Examiner for the MPharm programme at Robert Gordon University and I have examined students for higher degrees within Organic and Medicinal Chemistry.  My research is directed towards synthetic chemistry, drug discovery and delivery, and formulation science on the nanoscale.  I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a Chartered Chemist (FRSC CChem) and a member of a number of other learned societies, including the American Chemical Society, the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the United Kingdom and Ireland Controlled Release Society.

Research and scholarship

Research theme: Therapeutics

My research interests lie at the interface between the physical and life sciences, with a focus on the synthesis of molecules with biological or medicinal significance. This includes the design and synthesis of novel chemotherapeutic agents and prodrugs, and of solubilising agents for drug delivery and formulation science.

My current research is in the area of nanopharmaceutics, the application of nanotechnology to the formulation of medicines into very small dosage forms suitable for administration by various routes as required. Often drug molecules have undesirable properties: For example, drugs may not be very soluble in water or they may not be absorbed well by the body which hinders their usage. These drugs require careful formulation in order for them to be administered to patients effectively and display their  therapeutic effect. Traditional formulation strategies are not sufficient, especially since a significant number of all new drugs under development are classed as practically insoluble in water. We use calix[n]arenes and calix[4]resorcinarenes to make novel, supramolecular delivery systems for such hydrophobic drugs.
I also collaborate with Dr Alan Richardson and Dr Jóhannes Reynisson, both from the School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering at Keele, on the synthesis of novel and adjunct therapies for the treatment of ovarian cancer, and with Dr Clare Hoskins of the University of Strathclyde on topics within nanopharmaceutics and nanomedicine.


PhD Studentships

I welcome applications from students who wish to undertake postgraduate studies in my research group. All of our research is highly multidisciplinary and is driven by a desire to create useful technologies applicable to the treatment of a wide variety of different diseases. Interested students can contact me directly by email at to discuss potential projects as well as the application process.

In particular, a current focus is on the development of nano-scale drug delivery systems, within the field of nanopharmaceutics. We use calix[n]arenes and calix[4]resorcinarenes to make novel, supramolecular delivery systems for hydrophobic drugs which may otherwise be discarded from the development process due to their poor solubility in water. Our calix[4]resorcinarenes are drug solubilising agents and assemble into nano-carrier structures which act as chaperones for the drug molecules, potentially releasing the drug as a 'smart' response to some external stimulus, e.g. varying pH. This may carry the drug past the body's defense systems and avoid any premature drug degradation or metabolism. The nano-carriers themselves are simple and cheap to make and they can be easily tailored for many applications, by incorporation of specific functional groups which can confer additional properties for drug targeting or tracking. Specific projects currently include the development of calix[4]resorcinarene glycosides and amphiphilic calix[4]resorcinarenes for drug delivery.

Nanopharmaceutics research has experienced exponential growth internationally over recent years. Staff in the School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering are highly motivated, interdisciplinary scientists whose research spans across the boundaries of chemistry, physics and the life sciences, and who strive to drive forward innovation. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly about our research.

School address:
School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering
Hornbeam Building
Keele University

Research centre address:
School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering
Guy Hilton Research Centre
Thornburrow Drive
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 674988

Jack Ashley building accessibility

Undergraduate enquiries:
Tel: +44 (0)1782 734010

Postgraduate enquiries:
Please contact the CPD4ALL team:


Keele Centre for Medicines Optimisation (KCMO)
Tel: +44 (0)1782 733831 / 734131

The Virtual Patient project enquiries:
Contact our Digital Development team: