Helen McCarthy
    Phone: +44 (0)28 9097 2149, +44 (0)28 9097 1993

    For media contact email comms.office@qub.ac.uk
    or call +44(0)2890 973091.

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    For the last 11 years Prof McCarthy’s research team have focused on the development of non-viral delivery systems for nanomedicine applications. These biomimetic systems are designed to overcome the extra and intracellular barriers, so that the macromolecular payload can be delivered at the destination site in order to exert the optimal therapeutic effect. Helen has designed and patented three delivery systems. Current research projects involve gene therapy for metastatic deposits; miRNA therapeutics for oncology and wound healing applications; mRNA and DNA vaccination strategies; repurposing of bisphosphonates and regeneration of bone by increasing the bioavailability of ceramics. The wide-spread utility of these delivery systems has led to a spin-out company Phion Therapeutics www.phiontx.co.uk. To that end, she has published over 80 scientific publications, edited a book and has given many conference presentations. She has received research grant income from the National Science Foundation, Invest Northern Ireland, Cancer Research UK, Breast Cancer Campaign, Prostate Cancer UK, Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, The Royal Society, BBSRC, MRC, EPSRC, Prostate Cancer Research Foundation and Action Cancer. She is also on the editorial board for Cancer Nanotechnology and the Journal of Material Science and is an external examiner at for the Junior Medicine Cycle and Pharmacy at RCSI.


    Research Statement

    Prof McCarthy's Research interests include:

    Cancer Gene Therapy

    Bio-inspired Delivery systems

    DNA & mRNA Vaccines

    Bone Regeneration


    Macromolecular Delivery

    Nitric Oxide

    Transcriptional Targeting

    Breast Cancer

    Prostate Cancer


    Current Funding:


    Invest NI

    Prostate Cancer UK

    The Royal Society


    Phion Therapeutics


    Teaching Administration Associated with the MPharm Degree

    2007 - Present Module Co-ordinator PMY3072 Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

    2010 - Present Assistant Co-ordinator PMY4005 Project Module

    2010 - Present Level 3 Year Co-ordinator


    Teaching Contribution within the MPharm Degree

    2006-Present PMY1003 Medicines from Concept to Clinic

    2007-Present PMY3081 Drug Delivery

    2007-Present PMY3072 Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

    2007-Present PMY4005 Project Module

    2015-Present PMY4107 Advanced Pharmaceutical Care


    Teaching Contribution within the BSc Pharm Sci Degree

    2015-Present PMY2021 Principles of Drug Action


    Willingness to take PhD students


    PhD projects

    Open to PhD applications in the field of nano-drug delivery, biopharmaceutics, vaccine technology, repurposing of phosphate-based drugs, nucleic acid therapies and bone repair.

    - Development of nanomedicines for cancer
    - Design of non-viral delivery systems

    Frequent Journals

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    • REMEDI

      Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    • PG Recruitment Event

      Activity: Other activity typesHosting a school group or open day

    • RNAi Therapeutics

      Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

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    Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

    ID: 32059