The Group

Tom McDonald

Tom’s research is focused on the design of controlled release drug delivery systems and the development of novel nanomedicines for drug delivery. He has recently developed novel approaches for the synthesis of multi-component solid-drug nanoparticles along with high throughput screening methodologies for potential nanoparticle formulations. He has authored over 40 peer-reviewed publications and 2 book chapters and is a co-inventor on 4 patents. His research as PI has been supported by the EPSRC and Royal Society to a value of over £1.2m


Steph Edwards

Steph obtained a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry with a Year in Industry from the University of Liverpool in 2014. She undertook her year in industry placement at Reckitt Benckiser (2012-2013) where she worked on innovation for cosmetic emulsion formulations. Steph joined the Rannard group within the nanomedicine partnership in 2014 to study for a PhD, co-supervised by Dr Tom McDonald, investigating mucoadhesive emulsions for the delivery of therapeutic agents. Steph joined the group in October 2018, to work on the development of ocular silicone tamponades in collaboration with Dr Victoria Kearns in the Department of Eye and Vision Science

Edyta Lewandowska

Edyta graduated with BSc. in Chemical Technology in 2013 and MSc. in Nanotechnology at the Lodz University of Technology in Poland in 2014. Her research during her master thesis was focused on preparation of non-spherical polylactide carriers like drug delivery system. This project was conducted in collaboration with Centre of Molecular and Macromolecular Polish Academy of Science in Lodz. In meantime Edyta was laureate of the competition organized in cooperation with Polish Ministry of Treasury and she won 3-month internship in company engaged in transport of crude oil. Edyta carried out a PhD in the McDonald group that was focused on characterising nanomedicines by flow fractionation. Edyta started her PDRA role in
May 2019 and is currently researching in situ forming implants for drug delivery.

Dom Gray

Dom graduated from the University of Warwick with a MChem with professional experience in 2014. In his final year project, he researched reversibly crosslinking thermoresponsive nanogels in the group of Prof. Rachel O’Reilly. Dom then completed his PhD in the group of Dr Seb Spain at the University of Sheffield. His project was part of the CDT for polymers, soft matter and colloids and CASE sponsored by BASF. This project was investigating controlled radical polymerization in surfactant-free aqueous conditions. Dom joined the McDonald group in May 2019 and is currently researching in situ forming implants for drug delivery.

PhD students

Heba Elkateb 

Heba graduated with a BSc. (Hons) in Pharmacy in 2010 from Mansoura University in Egypt. she was one of the top 10 students of her class and accordingly was appointed as a demonstrator in the pharmaceutics department in Mansoura University (2011-2016). In 2016, Heba was awarded a six -months scholarship funded by both the Egyptian government and Ulster university to do a research project in the pharmacy department. The project  focused on the active targeting of PLGA nanoparticles against anaerobic Clostridium difficile infection.

Heba was awarded the International Postgraduate Research Studentships offered by the chemistry department and joined the McDonald group in January 2017 as a PhD student. She is co-supervised by professor Steve Rannard, her PhD project focused in formulating solid lipid nanoparticles and synthesis of polymeric materials for the active targeting and treatment of HIV/AIDS.

Nancy Elbaz

Nancy graduated with BSc. in Pharmacy and MSc. in Nanotechnology from American University in Cairo in 2014. Her research during her master thesis was focused on preparation of Nanoparticles-based combinatorial therapy for breast cancer. She also awarded a year fellowship From Bayer Pharmaceutical Company in Phillips University Marburg. 

Nancy joined the group, co-supervised by Prof Rannard to study for a PhD focusing on synthesising stimuli-responsive nanocapsules.

Jessica Taylor

Jess graduated from the University of Liverpool with a first class master’s degree in medicinal chemistry and pharmacology in 2017. She was recently awarded the Syngenta prize in pharmacology for her undergraduate academic achievements. During her degree, Jess has worked on small molecule drug discovery for targeting tropical infectious diseases.

Jess has now joined the McDonald group to start a PhD in nanomedicine for targeted drug delivery in the field of obstetrics. She is thoroughly excited to work in a multidisciplinary field with collaborations between chemistry and pharmacology with a distinct clinical focus.

Past Group Members

MChem and MSc students

Cameron Hogarth (2018-2019)

Harriet Pickup (2018-2019)

James Leonard (2018-2019)

Nicole Smith (2018)

Leanne Riley (2017-2018)

Abi Mills (2017-2018)

Chung Liu (2016-2017)

Rosie Beadle (2016-2017)

Gwilym Evans (2016-2017)

Jess Smith (2015-2016)

Mina Ragheb (2015-2016)

Craig Wilson (2014-2015)

3rd year students

Kyle Scale (2019)

Sam Morris (2018)

Sarah Waldron (2017)

Imogen Wignall (2016)

Gwilym Evans (2016)

Jon Savory (2015)

Stephen Danks (2014)

Visiting students

Kyle Scale (Summer 2019)

Kritika Nayak (Autumn and Winter 2018)

Sam Morris (2018)

Sarah Waldron (Summer 2017)

Chung Liu (Summer 2016)

Sioned Fon Jones (Summer 2016)

Adam Hayes (Summer 2016)

Imogen Wignall (Summer 2015)

Andrew Maneffa (Summer 2015)

Guillaume Blancard (Summer 2015)

Quanling Zhang (Summer 2014)

Jessica Smith (Summer 2014)

Kristin Petersen (Spring 2014)