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Personal profile


Ryan Donnelly graduated with a BSc (1st Class) in Pharmacy from Queen's University Belfast in 1999. Following a year of Pre-Registration training spent in Community Pharmacy, he returned to the School of Pharmacy to undertake a PhD in Pharmaceutics. He graduated in 2003 and, after a short period of post-doctoral research, was appointed to a Lectureship in Pharmaceutics in January 2004. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2009, Reader in 2011 and, in 2013, to a Chair in Pharmaceutical Technology.

Professor Donnelly's research is centred on design and physicochemical characterisation of advanced polymeric drug delivery systems for transdermal and topical drug delivery, with a strong emphasis on improving therapeutic outcomes for patients. His bioadhesive patch design was used in successful photodynamic therapy of over 100 patients with neoplastic and dysplastic gynaecological conditions and the patent subsequently out-licensed.

Currently, Professor Donnelly's research is focussed on novel polymeric microneedle arrays for transdermal administration of "difficult-to-deliver" drugs and intradermal delivery of vaccines and photosensitisers. His work is funded by BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC, The Wellcome Trust, The Royal Society and the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries.

He has authored over 600 peer-reviewed publications, including several granted patents, 5 textbooks and approximately 160 full papers. He has been an invited speaker at numerous national and international conferences. Professor Donnelly is the Editor-in-Chief of Recent Patents on Drug Delivery & Formulation and a member of the Editorial Advisory Boards of Micromachines, Pharmaceutical Technology Europe, Expert Review of Medical Devices and Journal of Pharmacy & Bioallied Sciences and is a Visiting Scientist at the Norwegian Institute for Cancer Research, where he is an Associate Member of the Radiation Biology Group. His work has attracted numerous awards, including the Controlled Release Society Young Investigator Award in 2016, BBSRC Innovator of the Year in 2013, the GSK Emerging Scientist Award in 2012 and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Science Award in 2011.

Click on the links below to watch videos about Professor Donnelly's research:












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

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Skin Medicine & Life Sciences
Pharmaceutical Preparations Medicine & Life Sciences
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Aminolevulinic Acid Medicine & Life Sciences
Photochemotherapy Medicine & Life Sciences
Nanoparticles Medicine & Life Sciences
Photosensitizing Agents Medicine & Life Sciences
Drug delivery Chemical Compounds

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2006 2019

Research Output 2003 2019

Antioxidant PLA Composites Containing Lignin for 3D Printing Applications: A Potential Material for Healthcare Applications

Dominguez Robles, J., Martin, N. K., Fong, M. L., Stewart, S. A., Irwin, N. J., Rial-Hermida, M. I., Donnelly, R. F. & Larraneta Landa, E., 04 Apr 2019, In : Pharmaceutics. 11, 4, 14 p., 165.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Delivery of Health Care
Castor Oil
1 Citation (Scopus)
Open Access
Klebsiella Infections
Klebsiella pneumoniae
Bacterial Infections
Lymphoid Tissue
3 Citations (Scopus)

Design, Formulation, and Evaluation of Novel Dissolving Microarray Patches Containing Rilpivirine for Intravaginal Delivery

McCrudden, M., Larrañeta, E., Clark, A., Jarrahian, C., Rein-Weston, A., Creelman, B., Moyo, Y., Lachau-Durand, S., Niemeijer, N., Williams, P., McCarthy, H. O., Zehrung, D. & Donnelly, R. F., 06 Mar 2019, In : Advanced Healthcare Materials. 0, 0, p. 1801510 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Delivery of Health Care
Intramuscular Injections
Open Access
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Propylene Glycol

Activities 2017 2018

  • 2 Participation in conference
  • 1 Oral presentation


Thakur Raghu Raj Singh (Participant), Ryan Donnelly (Participant), Samer Adwan (Participant)
11 Apr 201813 Apr 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Controlled Release Society

Thakur Raghu Raj Singh (Participant), Samer Adwan (Participant), Ryan Donnelly (Participant)
21 Jul 201824 Jul 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Fractional Er:YAG Laser as a Novel Method for Enhancing Ocular Drug Permeation

Samer Adwan (Speaker), Thakur Raghu Raj Singh (Advisor), Ryan Donnelly (Advisor)
2017 → …

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation