Colin McCoy

    Colin McCoy

    Dean of Internationalisation

    Phone: +44 (0)28 9097 2081, +44 (0)28 9097 2210

    For media contact email
    or call +44(0)2890 973091.

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    Professor Colin McCoy leads three themes within Biomaterials and Drug Delivery in the School of Pharmacy;polymeric medical devices, photoactive biomaterials and sensor development. Following completion of his PhD in Chemistry, which included a publication in Nature, he undertook two years of postdoctoral research with Nobel Laureate Professor Jean-Marie Lehn, at the Collège de France. He was awarded a prestigious Royal Society University Research Fellowship in 1999, which he held for 8 years in the School of Pharmacy, and was appointed Senior Lecturer in 2006, Reader in 2009 and Professor in 2012.

    His expertise is in the design of triggered drug delivery systems, the development of infection-resistant biomaterials and the design of sensor technologies for drugs and biologically-relevant species. His research has attracted in excess of £5M of funding, and he is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and 6 patents. His work has received media attention from sources such as the BBC World Service, New Scientist, The Sunday Times, Chemistry in Britain and Chemistry and Engineering News.

    Professor McCoy has given lectures at numerous international and national conferences. He compiled a policy document for the Royal Society by invitation and sat on an advisory panel to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and the Science Minister for the development of UK Government policy on spending on science. He is an Editorial Board member of the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology and former member of the International Steering Committee for the Handbook of Pharmaceutical Excipients. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Chemistry and Advance HE, formerly the Higher Education Academy. 

    Research Statement


    The major focus of Professor McCoy's research involves development of biomaterials which are resistant to infection. In particular, his research exploits triggered drug delivery using light, heat, chemical or electrical stimuli to either modulate the properties of materials or directly release appropriate bioactive molecules. A further area of research is in the development of new materials for detecting and monitoring species such as drugs, explosives and biological anions. To achieve this, he uses diverse approaches including surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy and delayed lanthanide luminescence. This work is carried out with collaborators in the UK, Ireland, Europe and the USA.


    His research is both fundamental and applied, with funders including EPSRC (6 major grants awarded since appointment), the Royal Society and global medical device companies.


    He is author of more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and patents in journals including Nature, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Pharmaceutical Research, Bioconjugate Chemistry and Chemistry of Materials, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and serves on the editorial board of Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology.


    Willingness to take PhD students


    PhD projects

    Open to PhD applications in the field of drug delivery, biomaterials, sensor development, SMART materials, and medical device enhancement. Polymer and small-molecule synthesis, materials characterisation, biological and microbiological performance are all areas of expertise in our research.

    Frequent Journals

    • Molecular Pharmaceutics

      ISSNs: 1543-8384

      American Chemical Society

      Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 4.7 SJR 1.402 SNIP 1.165


    • Journal of the American Chemical Society

      ISSNs: 0002-7863

      American Chemical Society

      Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 14.75 SJR 7.468 SNIP 2.634


    • Biomaterials

      ISSNs: 0142-9612

      Elsevier BV

      Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 9.85 SJR 3.005 SNIP 1.875


    • Chemical Communications

      ISSNs: 1359-7345

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1364-548X

      Royal Society of Chemistry

      Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 6.12 SJR 2.177 SNIP 1.133


    • Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology

      ISSNs: 0022-3573

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 2042-7158

      Pharmaceutical Press

      Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 2.32 SJR 0.568 SNIP 0.772


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    Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

    ID: 18611