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Personal profile


Dr. Nicola Irwin graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with a Master of Pharmacy degree (First Class Honours) in 2009. Following a pre-registration training year in community pharmacy, she returned to the School of Pharmacy and completed a PhD in the area of infection-resistant medical device development under the supervision of Professor Colin McCoy and Professor Sean Gorman. In 2013, Dr. Irwin was appointed as a Research Fellow on an Invest NI-funded Proof of Concept programme to develop lubricious catheter coatings for intermittent self-catheterisation devices. Traction generated from this project led to her being successfully awarded a personal Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2015. Dr. Irwin was appointed to her current position of Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Materials Science in the School of Pharmacy, Queen's University Belfast, in April 2016.


Dr. Irwin is a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland.

Research Interests

Dr. Irwin’s current research interests are focused on the development of advanced surface technologies to combat the major issues associated with employment of medical devices, namely their ease of use and susceptibility to infection. To inform the development of infection-prevention strategies, a major focus of her research is involved with investigation of the mechanisms controlling bacterial adhesion to surfaces and subsequent biofilm formation.

Her research has been featured in the national press (BBC News and The Telegraph), published in peer-reviewed journals and filed as a patent.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Nicola Irwin is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Biocompatible Materials Medicine & Life Sciences
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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2016 2018

Selected Research Output 2012 2019

11 Citations (Scopus)
Open Access
Bacterial Adhesion
Biocompatible Materials
Urinary Catheterization
10 Citations (Scopus)
Proteus mirabilis
Urinary Catheters
Nalidixic Acid


Academy of Medical Sciences Springboard Award

Nicola Irwin (Recipient), 01 May 2019

Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

Artwork accepted for cover of Chemistry - A European Journal

Nicola Irwin (Recipient), 28 Nov 2019

Prize: Other distinction


Enterprise Fellow

Nicola Irwin (Recipient), 31 Mar 2015

Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Nicola Irwin (Recipient), 30 Jun 2017

Prize: Other distinction

Vice-Chancellor's Early Career Researcher Prize

Nicola Irwin (Recipient), 09 Dec 2019

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Activities 2009 2020

Lead for CQC Exchange Programme

Nicola Irwin (Organiser), Shu Li (Organiser)
13 Jan 202019 Feb 2020

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

China Medical University – Queen’s University Belfast Joint College

Nicola Irwin (Visiting lecturer)
25 Nov 201929 Nov 2019

Activity: Visiting an external institution typesResearch and Teaching at External Organisation

Jadara University

Nicola Irwin (Visiting researcher)
10 Sep 2019

Activity: Visiting an external institution typesVisiting an external academic institution

Jerash University

Nicola Irwin (Visiting researcher)
10 Sep 2019

Activity: Visiting an external institution typesVisiting an external academic institution

Royal Academy of Engineering (External organisation)

Nicola Irwin (Member)
20 Aug 2019 → …

Activity: Membership typesMembership of national or international committees and working groups

Press / Media

BBC News article

Nicola Irwin


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment