• Room 03.022 - Pharmacy & MCI

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Open to PhD applications in the field of peptide-based materials (hydrogels and nanotubes), sustained and targeted drug delivery (long-acting drug delivery systems to improve patient adherence to medicines), biomaterials, antimicrobial peptides.


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Dr. Laverty's Biofunctional Nanomaterials group research the design and development of self-assembling nanostructures/platforms for biomedical applications based on the building blocks of life (mainly peptides and peptide-like molecules).

These structures have the ability to form nanofibrous hydrogels or nanotubular structures with high surface to volume ratios in the presence of specific physiological stimuli (e.g. pH, temperature, enzymes). They have huge potential within the fields of drug delivery and biomaterials with the group's focus primarily on the development of sustained release drug delivery systems, antimicrobial biomaterials and molecules with the ability to transverse the biological barriers (e.g. blood-brain barrier, outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria). 

Harnessing a "bottom-up" approach, variation of the primary amino acid sequence allows structures to spontaneously assemble into ordered nanostructures upon exposure to varying environmental factors/stimuli. The peptide backbone provides a unique primer for tailoring biocompatibility, biodegradability and functionality.

His work is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Wellcome Trust, the Royal Society, the Society for Applied Microbiology, the Biochemical Society and Intertrade Ireland.

His most recent work relates to the development of an injectable in situ forming peptide hydrogel implant for sustained drug delivery. EPSRC and Wellcome Trust support has allowed this to be developed primarily for use in HIV/AIDs and combined contraception but this system is also showing promise for use in conditions with medication adherence and drug delivery issues (e.g. ocular use, cancer).

Irish Times Research Insights

Dr Laverty's work also relates to the development of self-assembling peptide-based hydrogel materials for use against infection. His work on the use of ultrashort self-assembling peptide gels against resistant biofilm forms of hospital superbugs attracted interest from national and international media outlets including BBC, RTE and UTV television and radio, The Belfast Telegraph, The Irish Times, WTOP radio Washington D.C and abc News.


BBC News: Queen's University Belfast scientists create 'superbug gel'

Belfast Telegraph

abc News

Dr. Laverty is a member of the Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM), the European Peptide Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry and is a member of the EPSRC Peer Review College.


Garry Laverty graduated with a First Class Honours Masters degree (MPHARM) from the School of Pharmacy at Queen's University Belfast in 2005.  After successful completion of his pre-registration training Garry commenced a PhD in Pharmaceutics related to the activity of peptides against the biofilm forms of medical device related pathogens. 

In 2010 Garry began employment within the biotechnology industry. He was responsible for the creation and development of innovative veterinary products working closely with the School of Pharmacy at Queen’s University Belfast. Garry has also undertaken a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Practice at University College Dublin. His work with small to medium enterprise allows him to fulfil his role as an Intertrade Ireland FUSION Graduate Ambassador.

Garry maintains his close links to Community Pharmacy and the Pharmaceutical Industry and is an external examiner at Trinity College Dublin.

In October 2012, Garry was appointed to the position of Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Science and Practice at the School of Pharmacy, Queen's University Belfast.


Master's of Pharmacy Degree (MPHARM)

Level 1: Practising as a Pharmacist (PMY 1017)

Level 2: Pharmaceutical Technology (PMY 2006)

Pharmaceutical Statistics

Co-ordinator of Industrial Stakeholder's Workshops

Level 2: Medicinal Substances (PMY 2126) 

Level 4: Business, Government & Industry (PMY 4002): Co-ordinator of Industrial component and Entrepreneurial Workshops

Level 4: Project Module (PMY 4005)

Facilitator within Pharmacists in Schools Programme


BSc Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biotechnology:

Level 1: Mathematical and Statistical Skills (PMY 1020)

Level 2: Industrial Pharmaceutics (PMY 2020)

Pharmaceutical Formulation (PMY 2025)

Module lead on Pharmaceutical Formulation practical

Medicinal Substances (PMY 2024)

Level 3: PMY3021: Quality Assurance and Regulatory Aspects of Pharmaceutical Manufacture

Pharmaceutical Science Research Project (PMY3022)


Visting Lecturer China Queen's College (Shenyang, China)


MSc Industrial Pharmaceutics:

Research Methods and Data Management (PMY 8110)

Characterisation Methods for Pharmaceutical Products (PMY 8112): Rheological Testing



MSc Pharmaceutical Analysis:

Quality Assurance/Control in the Pharmaceutical Industry (PMY 7092)

Quality of Analytical Methods (PMY 8105)


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Research Output

Antimicrobial activity of short, synthetic cationic lipopeptides.

McLaughlin, M., Shaw, C., Gorman, S., Gilmore, B. & Laverty, G., Jun 2010, In : Chemical Biology & Drug Design. 75(6), 6, p. 563-569 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 72 Citations (Scopus)

    The Potential of Antimicrobial Peptides as Biocides

    Laverty, G., Gorman, S. P. & Gilmore, B. F., Oct 2011, In : International journal of molecular sciences. 12, 10, p. 6566-6596 31 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

    Open Access
  • 97 Citations (Scopus)
    331 Downloads (Pure)

    Eradication of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilms by Atmospheric Pressure Non-Thermal Plasma

    Alkawareek, M. Y., Algwari, Q. T., Laverty, G., Gorman, S. P., Graham, W. G., O'Connell, D. & Gilmore, B. F., 31 Aug 2012, In : PLoS ONE. 7, 8, p. 1-8 8 p., e44289.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 113 Citations (Scopus)
    251 Downloads (Pure)


    Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy

    Garry Laverty (Recipient), 24 Jun 2015

    Prize: Election to learned society

    FUSION project exemplar award

    Garry Laverty (Recipient), Nov 2012

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


    Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology (Journal)

    Garry Laverty (Peer reviewer)
    17 May 2020 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication peer-review

    RSC Biomaterials Chemistry Group Annual Meeting

    Garry Laverty (Participant)
    08 Jan 202010 Jan 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Heliyon (Journal)

    Garry Laverty (Peer reviewer)
    16 May 2019 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication peer-review

    PhD external thesis examination/viva

    Garry Laverty (Examiner)
    May 2019

    Activity: Examination typesPhD external examination

    Journal of Clinical Medicine (Journal)

    Garry Laverty (Peer reviewer)
    02 Dec 2019 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication peer-review

    Press / Media

    Irish Times: Research Insight

    Garry Laverty


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Research