Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Open to PhD applications in the field of Nanotherapeutics, radiobiology, radiopharmaceuticals, DNA damage, cancer stem cells, drug resistance, 3-dimentional bio-assays.
- Gold nanoparticle/drug combinations
- Solid tumour nanoparticle transport models


Research activity per year

Personal profile



Functionalised gold nanoparticles

Targeting strategies

Gene Therapy

Nitric Oxide

Prostate Cancer


Tumour inflammation

Research Statement

Dr Jonathan Coulter obtained his PhD within the School of Pharmacy at Queens University Belfast in 2006. His project focused on tumour specific, transcriptionally targeted gene therapy strategies focused on over expressing inducible nitric oxide synthase with an aim to sensitise tumour cells to ionising radiation.

In October 2006, appointed as a research fellow he joined the multidisciplinary gold nanoparticle (AuNP) research group. This research aims to exploit the physical properties of gold (i.e. the high atomic number and the differential absorption coefficient between high Z materials and soft tissue) to sensitise cells to radiation treatment. He is specifically interest in the biological factors that influence the efficacy of these experimental therapies. 

Appointed as a Lecturer within the School of Pharmacy in June 2012, his research group has developed a functionalised-GNP capable of doubling the cell killing efficacy ionising radiation, with minimal cytotoxic effects when used as solo agents. In a separate strategy Dr Coulter is also investigating role of hypoxia in maintaining cancer stem cell populations, know to exhibit significant resistance to conventional therapeutics, including radiotherapy. 

Jonathan has published twenty scientific publications, written and edited a book, and has given numerous conference presentations. He was a visiting scientist at the University Hospital Network (UHN) in Toronto, working in Prof. Rob Bristow’s laboratories. He has received funding from Prostate Cancer UK, Breast Cancer Campaign and Cancer Research UK. He is a committee member on the Irish Radiation Research Society and the Association for Radiation Research, and an editorial board member of Cancer Nanotechnology, NanoDrugs and Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology. 


Contributes to the following modules on the MPharm degree:

  • PMY1014 Introduction to Pharmacy Practice Skills
  • PMY2104 Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics
  • PMY2105 Clinical Therapeutic 1 
  • PMY3175 Clinical Therapeutics 3
  • PMY3072 Pharmaceutical Biotechnology 
  • PMY4073 Infectious Diseases
  • PMY4005 Level 4 Project


Distance Learning Supervisor:

  • PG Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy
  • MSc Clinical Pharmacy

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure


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