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Centre for Doctoral Training in Transformative Pharmaceutical Technologies

The Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) is a partnership between University College London, the University of Nottingham, and SSPC - the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals.

The CDT provides world-class PhD training to early career researchers. Our graduates have the knowledge and skill to take active molecules from drug discovery and design, and transform them into medicines to treat patients.

Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Council in the UK, Science Foundation Ireland and a total of 19 industry partners, we provide world-leading training to prepare scientists for high achieving careers in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors.

Academic Supervisors

Students in the CDT who are funded by the SSPC are based in one of 3 universities in Ireland: Trinity College Dublin, UCD or UCC. Their research is supervised by an academic member of staff for 4 years of the PhD.

Prof. Anne Marie Healy, CDT Co-Director/Principal Investigator

School of Pharmacy, Trinity College Dublin

Research Interests

Anne Marie Healy is a Professor in Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Trinity College Dublin and is currently one of the Co-Directors of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Transformative Pharmaceutical Technologies. She is Co-Principal Investigator of the Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC) and a Funded Investigator in the Advanced Materials and Bioengineering Research Centre (AMBER).

Her research interests include pharmaceutical material science, preformulation and formulation of pharmaceuticals, amorphous solids, co-crystals, formulating poorly soluble drugs, pharmaceutical processing, pulmonary drug delivery and formulation stability.

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Anne Marie has over 70 peer reviewed publications; she has given over 100 presentations at national and international conferences, graduated 15 PhD students and mentored 15 postdoctoral researchers. She was awarded a Special Visiting Research Fellowship by CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Brazil) in 2014 to further her collaborative research with the Faculty of Pharmacy of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. This research focuses on single and combination dosage forms and on the re-formulation of “old” drugs to improve treatment by either the pulmonary or oral route.

Anne Marie has a B.Sc. in Pharmacy and a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics, both from the University of Dublin. She joined the School of Pharmacy, TCD in 1992 as a Lecturer in Pharmaceutics. In 2010 she was elected Fellow of Trinity College.

Financial Support

Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Irish Research Council, CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Brazil), numerous companies including: IVAX Pharmaceuticals, Merrion Pharmaceuticals, Velox GmbH, Amebis, Solvotrin Therapeutics, Pfizer, GSK, Merck, Eli Lilly, Janssen, Roche, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Alkermes, UCB Pharma, Abbvie, Clarochem, APC Ltd., Innopharma Labs, Glantreo, Dynochem, Eirgen, Novartis, Allergan, Genzyme, Biomarin, FMC.

Publications

Publications

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Dr Abina Crean, Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceuticals

School of Pharmacy, University College Cork / Athena Swan Steering Committee Member

Research Interests

Dr Abina Crean graduated with a degree in Pharmacy from Robert Gordon's University, Aberdeen, Scotland in 1992. In 1997, she completed a PhD in Pharmaceutics in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Trinity College Dublin. Abina worked as a formulation scientist with Elan Pharmaceutical Technologies and as a Process Development Pharmacist at Servier (Ireland) Industries. Since joining the School of Pharmacy in UCC in 2003, she has been actively involved in the development of the new research facilities and curriculum.

Her research interests include pharmaceutical material science, preformulation and formulation of pharmaceuticals, amorphous solids, co-crystals, formulating poorly soluble drugs, pharmaceutical processing, pulmonary drug delivery and formulation stability.

Abina led the School of Pharmacy’s successful Athena Swan Bronze application in 2018 and is a member of the University’s Athena Swan Steering committee.

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Research Interests

My research interests are focused on the development of high quality, effective medicines through thorough investigation and understanding of the properties and associated behaviour of constituent materials (both API and excipients).

Examples of current research projects include:
  • Development of quality by design strategies to study the critical material attributes of pharmaceutical excipients
  • Enabling continuous pharmaceutical solid oral dosage from manufacture through identification, control and monitoring of critical material attributes
  • Formulation and characterisation of microneedle drug and vaccine delivery systems
  • Development of silica-based drug formulations to enhance the oral bioavailability of therapeutic compounds challenged by poor-water solubility
  • Biophysical characterisation, processing and formulation of peptide, protein and vaccine materials
  • Manipulation of commercial dosage forms for administration to elderly patients
  • Publications

    See Abina's UCC profile for a full list of publications (link below):

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    Dr Steven Ferguson, Assistant Professor in Bioprocess Engineering

    School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, University College Dublin

    Research Interests

    Dr Steven Ferguson graduated from UCD with a degree in Chemical & Bioprocess Engineering. He subsequently completed his PhD research in continuous crystallization of drugs as part of the SSPC Research Cluster. Steven has held positions in industry with the Novartis-MIT Center for Continuous Manufacturing in the USA. Steven later worked for Biogen where he developed novel clinical forms for first in class drugs in collaboration with pharmaceutical sciences and engage in the development of flow synthesis and continuous manufacturing technologies.

    Steven returned to UCD as Assistant Professor in Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering. His research group focuses on drug delivery, separations and advanced manufacturing of pharmaceuticals. He has assembled a multidisciplinary team with expertise in separation processes, downstream bioprocessing, process simulation, flow synthesis, unit operation & reactor design, crystallization and formulation; structured to be vertically integrated to bring fundamental insights from multiphase systems, reactions or separations, through simulations and prototypes to actionable technologies.

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    Research Interests

    Publications

    See Steven's UCD profile for full list of publications

    View College profile