• Room 06.023 - Medical Biology Centre

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Open to PhD applications in the field of nano-drug delivery, biopharmaceutics, vaccine technology, repurposing of phosphate-based drugs, nucleic acid therapies and bone repair. - Development of nanomedicines for cancer - Design of non-viral delivery systems

19992020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Interests

Prof McCarthy’s research team have focused on the development of non-viral delivery systems for nanomedicine applications in the School of Pharmacy. These biomimetic peptide systems are designed to overcome the extra and intracellular barriers, so that the macromolecular payload can be delivered at the destination site in order to exert the optimal therapeutic effect. Helen has designed and patented three delivery systems. Current research projects involve gene therapy for metastatic deposits; miRNA therapeutics for oncology and wound healing applications; mRNA and DNA vaccination strategies; and regeneration of bone by increasing the bioavailability of ceramics. The wide-spread utility of these delivery systems has led to a spin-out company Phion Therapeutics www.phiontx.co.uk. We currently have three internal projects funded by Innovate UK, several commercial partners, one of which includes Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult for ex vivo applications of our technology.

Helen has published over 100 scientific publications, edited a book and has given many conference presentations. Research grant income from the National Science Foundation, Invest Northern Ireland, Cancer Research UK, Prostate Cancer UK, Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, The Royal Society, BBSRC, MRC, EPSRC, and Versus Arthritis have supported this research. Helen currently sits on the editorial board for Cancer Nanotechnology and the Journal of Material Science and is an external examiner  for Pharmacy at RCSI and Translational Oncology in TCD.

 

Research Statement

Prof McCarthy's Research interests include:

Delivery of Nucleic Acids

Cancer Gene Therapy 

Bio-inspired Delivery systems

DNA & mRNA Therapeutic Vaccines

Bone Regeneration

Nanotechnology

Biomaterials with Genetic Cargo

Transcriptional Targeting

Prostate Cancer

Pancreatic Cancer

 

Current Funding:

Invest NI

Prostate Cancer UK

Versus Arthritis

EPSRC

Phion Therapeutics

Teaching

Teaching and delivery on 3 Modules on the MPharm Pathway (Yr 1, 3 & 4) and 3 Modules on the on the BSc Pharmaceutical Sciences Pathway and BSc Pharmaceutical Biotechnology in QUB and China Queen’s College.

 

Assistant Module Co-ordinator for PMY3176 (MPharm) and PMY3276 (BSc) ‘Advanced Delivery Systems for Large and Small Molecules’. 


Assistant co-ordinator for PMY4005 Project module on the MPharm degree.  

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Projects

Research Output

A novel transdermal protein delivery strategy via electrohydrodynamic coating of PLGA microparticles onto microneedles

Angkawinitwong, U., Courtenay, A. J., Rodgers, A., Larraneta, E., McCarthy, H. O., Brocchini, S., Donnelly, R. F. & Williams, G. R., 18 Feb 2020, In : ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    Open Access
    File
  • 7 Downloads (Pure)

    Hydrogel-forming microneedle arrays as a therapeutic option for transdermal esketamine delivery

    Courtenay, A. J., McAlister, E., McCrudden, M. T. C., Vora, L., Steiner, L., Levin, G., Levy-Nissenbaum, E., Shterman, N., Kearney, M-C., McCarthy, H. O. & Donnelly, R. F., 19 Mar 2020, In : Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society. 322, p. 177-186 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    File
  • 2 Citations (Scopus)
    61 Downloads (Pure)

    A tailored genetic nanomedicine for wound healing applications

    Juncos Bombin, A. D., Dunne, N. & McCarthy, H., 09 Sep 2019.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

    Prizes

    All-Ireland Investor Readiness Seedcorn Awards 2017

    McCarthy, Helen (Recipient), 22 Nov 2017

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Invent NI 2017

    McCarthy, Helen (Recipient), 06 Oct 2017

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    Recipient of The QUB Vice Chancellor’s Innovation Award.

    McCarthy, Helen (Recipient), 10 Dec 2018

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    Activities

    RNAi Therapeutics

    Helen McCarthy (Speaker)

    21 Feb 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    REMEDI

    Helen McCarthy (Invited speaker)

    28 Sep 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Bioengineering Ireland (External organisation)

    Helen McCarthy (Member)

    2017 → …

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of external research organisation

    Pharmaceutica Nanomedicine

    Helen McCarthy (Invited speaker)

    24 Jul 201725 Jul 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    British Society of Nanomedicine

    Lindsey Bennie (Speaker), , Shannon O'Neill (Participant), , Natalie Owen (Participant), , Aaron McCulloch (Participant), , Helen McCarthy (Participant), & Jonathan Coulter (Presenter)

    10 Aug 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Press / Media

    Prostate Cancer UK Innovation Award

    Helen McCarthy

    01/03/2018

    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

    Women Mean Business

    Helen McCarthy

    05/02/2018

    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

    Northern Ireland Tech Mission

    Helen McCarthy

    29/01/2018

    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

    People of 2017 by Sync NI

    Helen McCarthy

    31/12/2017

    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

    Winner of All Ireland Seedcorn Awards 2017

    Helen McCarthy

    22/11/2017

    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

    Thesis

    Enhancing the radio sensitivity of prostate cancer using RALA Gold nano-complexes

    Author: Bennie, L., Jul 2020

    Supervisor: McCarthy, H. (Supervisor) & Coulter, J. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

    The Development and Characterisation of a Peptide Delivery Platform to Interrogate the Anticancer Effects of Bisphosphonates

    Author: Jena, L., Jul 2020

    Supervisor: McCarthy, H. (Supervisor), Thakur, R. (Supervisor) & McCrudden, C. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

    File