Karl Malcolm


  • Room 01.016 - Pharmacy & MCI

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Open to applications for postgraduate research from suitably-qualified applicants who meet the University's English language requirements, who have secured a source of funding, and who wish to pursue a research project in a relevant research topic. Exemplar PhD projects are detailed below: 1. Surface-modified silicone elastomers for reduced bacterial adherence and biofilm formation / https://www.dropbox.com/s/hcmz7ry0bz7qgtv/PhD%20Advert%201.pdf?dl=0 2. Exploring the influence of silica-based fillers on drug release from silicone elastomer implants / https://www.dropbox.com/s/p6ues1dplqbbqa5/PhD%20Advert%202.pdf?dl=0 3. Novel sustained-release formulation strategies for vaginal administration of drug-loaded nanoparticles / https://www.dropbox.com/s/1u02ncywh2ebun7/PhD%20Advert%203.pdf?dl=0

1992 …2021

Research activity per year

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Personal profile


* modified release drug delivery systems
* sustained and controlled release
* vaginal drug delivery
* vaginal ring technology
* polymeric drug delivery devices
* injection molding and extrusion technologies
* human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
* HIV microbicides
* antiretrovirals for HIV prevention
* multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs)
* mucosal vaccination
* silicone elastomers
* polyurethanes
* ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymers
* in vitro release testing of drug dosage forms
* protein drug delivery
* long-acting contraceptives
* long-acting injectables
* 3D-printing of drug delivery systems
* bacterial vaginosis (BV)
* estrogen replacement therapy
* cervical ripening
* induction of labour

Research Statement

Karl Malcolm is Professor of Drug Delivery in the School of Pharmacy, Queen's University Belfast. His research interests lie primarily within the pharmaceutical sciences, and particularly in the application of advanced drug delivery technologies to the treatment and prevention of disease in women. For the past 20 years, Karl has developed world-leading expertise in the design, development and testing of drug-releasing vaginal rings, most notably antiretroviral-releasing rings for the prevention of HIV infection. Karl’s research group reported the first microbicide-releasing vaginal rings back between 2003 and 2005. As part of an ongoing long-term partnership with the International Partnership for Microbicides, Karl’s research team has also contributed significantly to the development of the dapivirine-releasing vaginal, which completed two pivotal Phase III clinical studies in 2016 and is currently undergoing regulatory review by the European Medicine Agency.

Karl’s research is now heavily focused on second-generation combination and multipurpose rings that combine antiretrovirals for HIV prevention with contraceptive steroids and/or drugs for prevention/treatment of other sexually transmitted infections. Karl’s team at QUB – comprising pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, engineers and biological scientists – have a unique breadth of knowledge and expertise useful in developing implantable drug delivery and controlled release products. This knowledge and expertise supports collaborations and partnerships across the globe, including global health organisations, charities, pharmaceutical companies, and biotechnology companies.

Karl is always interested in new research partnerships. If you have an interesting project or product concept in mind that might benefit from input by the team at QUB, then please do not hesitate to contact Karl (k.malcolm@qub.ac.uk).


Professor Karl Malcolm teaches extensively as part of the MPharm, BSc Pharmaceutical Sciences, and BSc Pharmaceutical Biotechnology undergraduate degree programmes at the School of Pharmacy, Queen's University Belfast.

Karl is module coordinator for the L1 Physical Pharmaceutics (PMY1015) module. The module provides students with an understanding of the fundamental principles underlying pharmaceutics and drug formulation, including solubility, dissolution, pH, diffusion, partitioning, rheology, suspensions, emulsions, rheology, etc.

Karl also teaches on the L3 Drug Delivery module, focusing on the basic concepts of modified release drug delivery systems, vaginal drug delivery, and polymeric drug delivery systems.

At Level 1, Karl teaches extensively on the L1 Skills Module, focused on foundation aspects of numeracy, statistics, computer skills, literature searching skills, referencing in scientific articles, use of reference management software, etc.

Expertise related to UN SDGs

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


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