Dr. Jenny Halliwell
ARCH Laboratory Manager
School of Chemistry, Bangor University
Telephone +44 (0)124 838 2395
Jen came to Bangor in 2007 to study for a BSc in Chemistry. She joined ARCH in 2009 (then the Electrochemistry and Biosensors Research Group) to complete her third year dissertation which was entitled ‘The Use of Esterases for the Detection of Narcotics’. In 2010 she started her PhD studying ‘Novel Methods of Detecting Botulinum Neurotoxins’ where she developed a colourimetric method of detecting the toxin using gold nanoparticles and an electrochemical impedance spectroscopy method. After her PhD she moved onto the role of Research Officer within ARCH which allowed her to carry on her research into Botulinum Neurotoxin detection along with the detection of Tuberculosis and Magnetic Nanoparticle Directed Enzyme Prodrug Therapy (MNDEPT). Today she is continuing with these research topics and has taken an active role as lab manager for ARCH.
The ARCH research team have several collaborations with industry and universities worldwide. Our main research themes are the detection of TB, cancer therapy, the detection of Botulinum toxin and we are a very active member of the WISE network. Our research focus is centred on multidisciplinary translational research in the area of health.
Magnetic particles for drug delivery; fact or fiction?
Over recent years the number of medicinal uses of nanoparticles has increased greatly. From sensing toxins and diseases to the use of magnetic nanoparticles in MRI yielding a wide range of applications.
We have expanded on the idea of using nanoparticles for drug delivery in our cancer therapy ‘Magnetic Nanoparticle Directed Enzyme Prodrug Therapy’ (MNDEPT). MNDEPT utilises gold coated magnetic nanoparticles (AuMNPs) to deliver prodrug activating enzymes to tumour sites, holding them in place through an external magnetic field ensuring the cytotoxins are only produced at the tumour and as such targeting the diseased area. The enzymes are genetically modified to include cysteine rich areas which allow them to form strong sulfur-gold bonds onto the AuMNPs allowing the particles to move through the body without the enzyme being desorbed from the surface.
We have made great progress modifying a selection of promising enzymes to include the cysteine tags and screening them to ensure they remain active on the particles through kinetics and cell viability assays. The next stage for this research area will be mouse and then clinical trials hence strategically aligned partners are being actively sought.
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School of Chemistry, Bangor University, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW, UK
Direct Line: 0044 1248 383741 email: firstname.lastname@example.org