• United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

- Development of novel tumour-targeted nanomedicines for cancer therapy

20002019

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Personal Statement

Dr Christine Dufès is a Reader (Associate Professor) in Nanomedicine and Director of the Postgraduate School at the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS). She teaches on the Master of Pharmacy and on various MSc postgraduate degrees.

Christine obtained a Doctorate in Pharmacy (with Distinction and congratulations of the Jury, 1997) and a PhD (with a European Label, Distinction and congratulations of the Jury, 2002) from the University of Poitiers (France). After four years as a post-doctoral researcher at the Cancer Research UK Beatson Laboratories in Glasgow, she was appointed as a Lecturer at SIPBS in 2006, obtained fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2007, became a Senior Lecturer in 2012 and a Reader in 2019.

Her research focuses on the development of targeted drug- and gene-based nanomedicines for cancer therapy and brain delivery. It resulted in 2 patents, 40+ publications in high-impact journals such as Biomaterials and Journal of Controlled Release, 4 book chapters and attracted 2900+ citations (h-index: 20 (Web of Science), 25 (Google scholar)). Christine has attracted over £2M in research funding. All her PhD students (from diverse backgrounds) submitted their theses within 4 years and are now further developing their careers in either Academia or Industry.

Christine has been awarded the Bourse d’Excellence Lavoisier (2002), the Award of the 9th Annual Symposium of the United Kingdom and Ireland Controlled Release Society (2003), the Biochemical Journal Young Investigator Award (2009) and the Tom Gibson Memorial Award (2012) for her research. She also received the “Best Overall” Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Award (2013) for her teaching and was shortlisted in the category “Best in Faculty of Science” in 2015 and in 2018.

She is a Trustee of the British Society of Nanomedicine, Senior Editor of Journal of Interdisciplinary Nanomedicine, Editorial Advisory Board member of Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biomaterials Science, Review Editor of Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology – Nanobiotechnology, and member of the Editorial Boards of 5 journals (Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Journal of Nanotechnology: Nanomedicine & Nanobiotechnology, Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology, Pharmaceutics and Scientia Pharmaceutica).

Her research highlights include:

DNA-based nanomedicines (cancer therapy):

  • Tumour regression/disappearance after intravenous administration of a novel tumour-targeted dendriplex encoding Tumour Necrosis Factor (TNFα), with complete disappearance of 90% of the tumours and regression of the remaining ones
  • Regression/disappearance of prostate tumours after intravenous administration of a novel tumour-targeted polypropylenimine dendrimer combined with either TNFα, TRAIL and IL-12 expression plasmids, with complete disappearance of up to 70% of PC-3 tumours and up to 50% of DU145 tumours. It is the first time that gene therapy was shown to be efficacious for the treatment of prostate cancer in laboratory settings (doctoral work of Dr Majed Al Robaian and Dr Najla Altwaijry).
  • Tumour regression/disappearance after intravenous administration of a novel tumour-targeted dendriplex encoding p73, with complete disappearance of 10% of the tested tumours and long-term survival of the animals. It is the first time that a tumour-targeted p73 could lead to tumour suppression after intravenous administration.

 

DNA-based nanomedicines (brain delivery):

  • Increase of gene expression in the brain followingintravenous injection of transferrin-bearing dendriplex (at least twice higher than that of the unmodified dendriplex), while decreasing the non-specific gene expression in the lung. Gene expression was at least 3-fold higher in the brain than in any tested peripheral organs (doctoral work of Dr Sukrut Somani).
  • Increase of gene expression in the brain following intravenous injection of lactoferrin-bearing dendriplex (by more than 6.4-fold compared to that of the unmodified dendriplex), while decreasing the non-specific gene expression in the lung and the kidneys. Gene expression was significantly higher in the brain than in any other tested peripheral organs. The administered gene was expressed in the hippocampus, which plays an important role in consolidating information from short-term memory into long-term memory. It is a primary site for Alzheimer's pathology, which makes gene expression in this brain area particularly interesting for future therapeutic developments (doctoral work of Dr Sukrut Somani).

 

Drug-based nanomedicines (cancer therapy): 

  • Tumour regression/disappearance after intravenous administration of the vitamin E extract tocotrienol entrapped in novel tumour-targeted vesicles, with complete disappearance of 40% of the melanoma tumours. It is the first time that a tocotrienol formulation can lead to tumour suppression (doctoral work of Dr Ju Yen Fu).
  • Tumour regression/disappearance after intravenous administration of the green tea extract epigallocatechin gallate encapsulated in novel tumour-targeted vesicles, with complete disappearance of 40% of the tumours for both tested tumour types. It is the first time that a green tea extract was shown to have an anti-cancer therapeutic effect.

 

Podcast about recent research results: http://www.youtube.com/embed/JhbIoXsAM7M 

Website: http://www.dufeslab.com/

 

Research Interests

Design and development of novel targeted drug- and gene-based nanomedicines for cancer therapy and brain delivery

Teaching Interests

Christine Dufès teaches on the Master of Pharmacy and on various MSc postgraduate degrees. 

 

  • UNDERGRADUATE TEACHING (MPharm)

- Being a Pharmacist (Years 2-4, MP220, MP320, MP420)

- Normal function of the gastrointestinal system (Year 2, MP221)

- Normal function of the nervous and endocrine systems (Year 2, MP223)

- Management of Infection and Infectious Diseases (Year 3, MP321)

- Management of CNS Conditions (Year 4, MP422)

  

  • POSTGRADUATE TEACHING (MSc)

- Drug discovery and development in cancer (MSc Cancer studies, MP988)

- Novel therapeutics and Biopharmaceuticals (MSc Advanced Drug Delivery, MP818)

- Advanced Topics In Drug Delivery (MSc Advanced Drug Delivery, MP952)

- Bioanalysis, biotechnology and quality management (MSc Pharmaceutical analysis, MP919) 

Keywords

  • Targeted nanomedicines
  • Cancer therapy
  • Brain delivery
  • Gene therapy
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Dendrimers

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Projects

Research Output

Anti-tumor activity of intravenously administered plumbagin entrapped in targeted nanoparticles

Sakpakdeejaroen, I., Somani, S., Laskar, P., Irving, C., Mullin, M. & Dufes, C., 1 Aug 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Camptothecin-based dendrimersomes for gene delivery and redox-responsive drug delivery to cancer cells

    Laskar, P., Somani, S., Campbell, S. J., Mullin, M., Keating, P., Tate, R. J., Irving, C., Leung, H. Y. & Dufès, C., 14 Nov 2019, In : Nanoscale. 11, 42, p. 20058-20071 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 3 Citations (Scopus)

    Thesis

    Control of Shigella sonnei and adhesive invasive Escherichia coli infections with a natural product which inhibits the bacterial oxidoreductase DsbA

    Author: Zainulabedeen R M H Mirza, Z., 27 Jul 2017

    Supervisor: Yu, J. (Supervisor) & Dufes, C. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

    Development of tumour-targeted delivery systems entrapping plumbagin for cancer therapy

    Author: Sakpakdeejaroen, I., 4 Jun 2019

    Supervisor: Dufes, C. (Supervisor) & Edrada-Ebel, R. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

    Prizes

    Award of the "Best Overall" Strathclyde Teaching Excellence award 2013

    Christine Dufès (Recipient), May 2013

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    Biochemical Journal Young Investigator Award

    Christine Dufès (Recipient), Apr 2009

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    Activities

    ACS Nano (Journal)

    Christine Dufès (Peer reviewer)
    Jun 2020

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesJournal peer review