PhD Students in the CDT in Transformative Pharmaceutical Technologies in Ireland
Follow this link for the UK-based student profiles.
Monika MyślińskaPhD Student, School of Pharmacy, Trinity College Dublin. Monika is supervised by Prof. Anne Marie Healy. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi everyone, my name is Monika Myslinska, and I joined the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Transformative Pharmaceutical Technologies in 2019 as a PhD student from SSPC, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Pharmaceutical Research Centre. I have obtained my diploma in Pharmacy from Medical University of Warsaw (2019). Throughout my college years, I did several scientific internships in Poland and abroad – in the University of Nottingham and University of Lincoln. I did a research for my Master thesis in the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne in France. I still support the activities of the Polish Pharmaceutical Student Association as an alumna. Nowadays, I am pursuing my PhD in pharmaceutical technology in Trinity College Dublin. My research interests entail looking for methods for enhancing bioavailability and solubility of poorly soluble drugs. Currently I am working on amorphous solid dispersions, which I try to obtain mainly by spray-drying or hot melt extrusion. Outside of work, I enjoy hiking, reading a good book or kayaking.
Evangelia TsolakiPhD Student, School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, University College Dublin. Eva is supervised by Dr Steven Ferguson. Email: email@example.com
Hello, my name is Evangelia Tsolaki and I am a PhD Researcher in the School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering at University College Dublin, in Ireland. Starting with a BSc. in Pharmacy, I went on to complete a Master’s in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Development, both in my hometown university, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. During Master’s thesis, I focused on patients with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, due to their susceptibility to various infections. In times of disease resurgence, these patients exhibit high level of colonization by microorganisms, which appears to contribute to the symptoms and the progression of the disease. To address this vicious circle of inflammation and infection, I designed and synthesized novel drug like molecules with dual mode of action; antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. I am currently working on the development of novel supramolecular complexes that aim to modify the in vivo solubility and permeability characteristics of poorly bioavailable drugs. Poorly soluble drug candidates, with dissolution rate limited oral bioavailability, are increasingly common in small molecule pharmaceutical development. My project aims to address these limitations and elucidate the potential of this novel formulation approach for orally dosed drug delivery.
Khaled El-KassasPhD Student, School of Pharmacy, University College Cork. Khaled is supervised by Prof. Abina Crean Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello, my name is Khaled El-Kassas.After graduating with a BSc in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical sciences from my hometown University of Alexandria’s faculty of Pharmacy in Egypt, I was accepted for a research internship at University College Cork, Ireland working on the physicochemical characterisation of polysorbate 80 as a multicomponent surfactant; Following which I joined the School of Pharmacy there as a full time student.My current work focuses on the physicochemical process of reconstitution with regards to high concentration protein drug formulations dried using freeze-drying and comparable alternative techniques. I’d like to think that my work involves a bit of everything from physicochemical characterisation and manufacturing process optimization to mathematical modelling and big data statistical analysis. In what (very little) free time I have, I enjoy painting and sketching, and the occasional good book. I am also an avid runner (even though I’m not very good at it) and enjoy a jog every now and then in the ever-lovely Irish countryside. I’m looking forward to the next few years, learning as much as I can from my peers, my supervisors and everyone at the CDT Ádh mór mian liom!
Maria Ferreira MonteiroPhD Student, School of Pharmacy, Trinity College Dublin. Maria is supervised by Prof. Lidia Tajber Email: email@example.com
Hello, my name is Maria Ferreira Monteiro and I am a PhD researcher at Trinity College Dublin. I have a Masters in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Faculty of Pharmacy of my hometown University of Porto, in Portugal. Throughout my college years, I also did some research on powder flowability at the Department of Pharmaceutical Technology of my faculty, as well as an Erasmus research internship on microspheres in Poland, at the Department of Pharmaceutical Technology of the Medical University of Gdansk. After I graduated, I did a research internship at Trinity’s department of Pharmaceutics, where I am now doing my PhD. I really enjoy doing research and I find pharmaceutical technology fascinating! Currently I am working on the conversion of poorly soluble drugs into multicomponent systems with low melting points as an approach to improve oral formulations. Outside of work, I like reading, baking, playing board games and RPGs, travelling and I have recently started knitting and crocheting.
Aswathy BalakrishnanPhD Student, School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, UCD. Aswathy is supervised by Prof. Liz Topp and Dr Steven Ferguson Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello! My name is Aswathy Balakrishnan, and I am a PhD researcher with EPSRC-SFI Centre for Doctoral Training in Transformative Pharmaceutical Technologies at National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) and University College Dublin (UCD). I have a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Vellore Institute of Technology, India, following which I came to Ireland to do my master’s in Biopharmaceutical Engineering at UCD. My master’s thesis involved the design of a manufacturing process for the production of a Prevnar 13 Biosimilar vaccine. This included design of the bioprocess along with P&IDs, mass and energy balances, HAZOP analysis, safety and environmental assessment, facility design, as well as economic analysis, in order to determine the overall technical and economic feasibility of the proposed process. Currently, my research aims towards the rational design of biopharmaceutical drug formulations. The initial section of my project deals with mechanistic modelling of solid-state hydrogen-deuterium exchange with mass spectrometric analysis (ssHDX-MS) for protein formulations. Now, I work on formulation and stability (both physical and chemical) of mRNA-lipid nanoparticles and the effects of lyophilisation on these mRNA-LNP formulations.
John DowneyPhD Student, School of Pharmacy, University College Cork. John is supervised by Dr Katie Ryan and Prof. Abina Crean Email: email@example.com
Hello, my name is John Downey. I joined the EPSRC-SFI CDT in Transformative Pharmaceutical Technologies as a PhD student of the SSPC in 2020. To date, my PhD has been focused on the effects of different material properties, such as glass and plastics, on lysozyme adsorption behaviour. I am also determining the effects of conformational and colloidal stability on lysozyme’s adsorption processes with a focus on the adsorption environment in situ. My research is directed at understanding the influence of protein formulation on adsorption and how adsorption can impact on lysozyme’s functional behaviour and stability. The goal is to help improve the manufacturing and storage of liquid protein parenterals by understanding the critical factors governing adsorption of proteins to solid interfaces. As I progress into the second half of my PhD, my focus is transitioning into surface functionalisation using lysozyme to ascertain if its antimicrobial properties can be utilised to inhibit biofilm formation.
Kate TolanPhD Student, School of Pharmacy, Trinity College Dublin. Kate is supervised by Prof. Anne Marie Healy Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello, my name is Kate Tolan. My current project investigates the use of a metabolomics approach to assess the impact of processing technologies on the phytochemical profile and potentially the biological activity of the plant species: Echinacea Purpurea. I am also assessing the potential for the use of different solidification methods to convert natural product extractions to powdered materials. Selected solidified natural product extracts will be progressed further to capsule or tablet presentation. The overall objective of the project is to ascertain suitable processing and formulation approaches that can be employed to harness the potential of natural products.
I graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry of Pharmaceutical Compounds from University College Cork in 2021. As part of my final year, I was engaged in two research projects. The first was in the field of biochemistry and investigated the overexpression and purification of the Thermotoga Maritima UvrC protein. The second was an organic chemistry project and investigated the spectroscopic data of the novel HIV drugs α-CNPs. These drugs exist as diastereomers and this work identified a carbon-phosphorus coupling constant which tracked the diastereomeric series.
When I’m not in the lab I spend as much time as possible sailing off the beautiful Irish coast!
Cristina Abscal RuizPhD Student, School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, University College Dublin. Christina is supervised by Dr. Ioscani Jiménez del Val Email: email@example.com
Hello, my name is Cristina Abscal Ruiz. Currently, I am working under the supervision of Ioscani Jimenez del Val. My research revolves around maximising biopharmaceutical α6-sialylation through CHO cell glycoengineering. My work these following years will focus on developing a biological technology capable of incorporating these features into CHO cells, by CRISPR/Cas9 and other synthetic biologic techniques.
Before coming to Dublin, I completed my BSc in Biotechnology at Pablo Olavide University based in Seville. During this time, I was also involved in scientific divulgation associations and organisation of scientific fairs and congresses. After that, in September 2019, I started an internship in the pharmaceutical industry (Hovione Pharmascience) based in Lisbon. During this time, I gained experience in the pharmaceutical field, carried out projects about nasal delivery vaccines.
I started the MSc in Bioenterprise at University of Granada in September 2020. Along this course, I also started a research internship in Drug Crystallization. After that, I developed my final master’s thesis project in a biotechnological company (Domca) focused on the antitumoral and anti-inflammatory properties of natural products in colorectal cancer cells lines. In my free time, I enjoy dancing and listening flamenco, reading, playing theatre, going out with friends and cooking!
Andrew FaganPhD Student, School of Pharmacy, University College Cork. Andrew is supervised by Prof. Abina Crean Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello, my name is Andrew Fagan. I am a recent Dublin City University graduate, where I studied a BSc in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences (2021). During my time there I had the opportunity to carry out an industrial placement in Sublimity Therapeutics Dublin, where I worked as a Production Assistant. Additionally, as part of my final year project I carried out research on the applications of nanomaterials in drug delivery, having the privilege to publish a literature review in the area titled “Spiropyran-based Drug Delivery Systems”. Subsequent to finishing my degree, I began my PhD in University College Cork as part of the EPSRC-SFI Centre for Doctoral Training in Transformative Pharmaceutical Technologies. My current research is looking at stabilizing peptides in the solid state with a view to producing stabile peptide tablets. The work essentially takes a holistic approach to manufacturing, involving characterization of several solid-state degradation pathways, development of an optimal tablet formulation and investigation of stability and dissolution profiles in biorelevant dissolution media. When I’m not in the lab I love to go running, play electric guitar and listen to music.
Hannah ClearyHannah Cleary, PhD Student, School of Pharmacy, Trinity College Dublin. Hannah is supervised by Dr. Deirdre DArcy Email: email@example.com
Hello, my name is Hannah Cleary. I joined the EPSRC-SFI Centre for Doctoral Training in Transformative Pharmaceutical Technologies in 2022, commencing my PhD journey as a student at the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutics in Trinity College Dublin. I’m a newly qualified pharmacist after completing my MPHARM (Hons 1st) from University College Cork (2022), where one of my highlights was the founding and editing the Apothecary Times magazine. My research relates to formulation development of long-acting injectable preparations- focussing on their bioavailability at the site of administration. Some factors affecting this that have hindered our understanding of these formulations to date include local physiological effects at the site of administration on release of drug and which pharmaceutical properties play a dominant role in absorption and drug availability in the body. These processes will be investigated using Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic (PBPK) and Physiologically Based Biopharmaceutics (PBBP) modelling, in silico and in vitro dissolution testing and related imaging and characterisation methods to determine the possibility of developing in vivo predictive dissolution testing for parenteral products.
In my free time, I love to paint, play music (piano, violin), travel and hike to unwind. I’m also an avid runner- currently training to do a half marathon in the New Year!
Mary Elaine FloodMary Elaine Flood, PhD Student, School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, University College Dublin. Mary is supervised by Dr Steven Ferguson Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello, my name is Mary Elaine Flood, and I am a PhD researcher with the EPSRC-SFI Centre for Doctoral Training in Transformative Pharmaceutical Technologies. I am a recent graduate from Trinity College Dublin with an honours bachelor’s degree in Medicinal Chemistry. Throughout my undergraduate studies, I was involved in two independent research projects. The first project was part of an awarded internship investigating the photochemical, photophysical and electrochemical properties of novel ruthenium-based Sonogashira cross-coupled complexes. In addition, a comparative analysis assessed the photoactive performance of such complexes as linkers within lanthanide-based metal organic frameworks. The second research project was part of my bachelor’s thesis and focused on the synthesis and characterisation of non-proteinogenic amino acids as well as conformationally restricted β-hairpin cyclic peptidomimetics as competitive protein-protein interaction inhibitors of tumour DNA repair. Currently, I am carrying out research at the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) and University College Dublin (UCD), where I aim to address the current setbacks of mRNA vaccine stability by designing chemically-modified mRNA formulations and optimising the solid properties of lyophilised lipid-nanoparticles for enhanced therapeutic delivery. Whenever I have free time outside of the lab, I can be found reading, hiking, or sea-swimming.
Laura KoenitzLaura Koenitz, PhD Student, School of Pharmacy, University College Cork. Laura is supervised by Dr. Sonja Vucen and Prof. Abina Crean Email: email@example.com
Hello, my name is Laura Koenitz. I recently obtained a degree in pharmacy from the University of Leipzig, Germany. As part of my studies, I undertook placements in both community and hospital pharmacies in Germany. In 2021, I came to Ireland as an Erasmus student to carry out research for my Diploma thesis on the ‘Development of Anti-fibrotic Functionalized Delivery Hydrogels to Modulate Lung Fibrosis’ at the University of Galway. Following that, I had the opportunity to gain some experience in Irish community pharmacy during a placement at Late Night University Pharmacy Galway. My PhD project at University College Cork will investigate the non-invasive delivery of macromolecular drugs via the skin route. After developing a microneedle formulation, it will focus on the in vitro assessment of the dermal bioavailability of the protein drug. Additionally, the project will examine in silico simulations assessing possible factors that affect the drug’s in vivo performance.
Jean-Pierre FremJean-Pierre Frem, PhD Student, School of Pharmacy, Trinity College Dublin. Jean-Pierre is supervised by Dr. Carsten Erhardt and Prof. Anne Marie Healy Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello everyone, my name is Jean-Pierre Frem. I graduated with a BSc in Pharmacy and an MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Lebanese American University’s School of Pharmacy in Lebanon. I also worked as a Research and Development Formulation Scientist in Pharmaline Sal, a renowned Pharmaceutical Industry in the region, where I focused on developing generic solid oral, liquid, and semi-solid dosage forms. I started my PhD journey at Trinity College Dublin’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2023. My current project is the biopharmaceutical assessment of excipients used in inhalation drug delivery. Basically, I’ll be studying the effect of inhaled excipients on in-vitro cytotoxicity, in-vitro drug dissolution, and ex-vivo drug permeation using an Isolated and perfused rat lung model (which is a very interesting model to use!). My project also includes formulating APIs and excipients into respirable powders. I am confident that during my project, I’ll learn many new skills from my colleagues and my supervisors. In my free time, I enjoy reading books, learning new coding skills, discovering new places in Dublin, and meeting some friends.
Patrick KeadyPatrick Keady, PhD Student, School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, University College Dublin. Patrick is supervised by Dr Steven Ferguson Email: email@example.com
Hello, my name is Patrick Keady, and I am starting a CDT funded PhD in the school of chemical and bioprocess engineering in UCD under Dr Steven Ferguson. I graduated from Trinity college last year which a degree in medicinal chemistry. I completed my bachelor’s capstone project in Humboldt university in Berlin synthesising clickable glycosphingolipid molecules. My current research project is focused on increasing the bioavailability of active pharmaceutical ingredient ionic liquids. I will be synthesising lipophilic ionic liquids of drugs which should allow for increased bioavailability in the body. I will also supervised by Professor David Brayden in the UCD school of veterinary medicine who will aid me in animal studies to investigate the bioavailability of these drugs. Professor Anne-Marie Healy in the school of pharmacy in Trinity College Dublin will also be supervising the project. She will be involved in the formulation of these drugs and provide pharmaceutical knowledge to the project. In my free time I love to read, play guitar, watch gaa or play golf.
Nancy MooreNancy Moore, PhD Student, School of Pharmacy, University College Cork. Nancy is supervised by Prof. Abina Crean Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello, my name is Nancy, and I am originally from Killarney, Kerry. I am a pharmacist and hold a First-Class Honours Degree in Master of Pharmacy, having graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in October 2023. During my undergraduate years, I undertook a range of work experiences, including an R&D internship at Xeolas Pharmaceuticals, community pharmacy experiences, and clinical research experiences. I am passionate about pharmacy and research because they enable people to access medications that can improve their quality of life.
I began my PhD journey in September 2023, with the EPSRC-SFI Centre for Doctoral Training in Transformative Pharmaceutical Technologies. My research focuses on addressing quality assurance challenges in point-of-care manufacturing (POC) to ensure drug quality. The current drug manufacturing model has evolved around a centralised model centred on large-scale production and distribution. However, with the rise of precision and personalised medicine, there is a move towards point-of-care (POC) manufacture to meet individual patients