Our members

The Centre of Excellence for Long-acting Therapeutics is an academic-led centre built upon the cutting edge research of our scientists from Chemistry and Pharmacology. Our cross-faculty collaboration enables our research to to be fast-paced, versatile and ever-evolving.

Our varied team of investigators lead multiple transformational projects. Find out about our research leads below. You can click through to their group page to discover more about their members and the work conducted in the team.

CELT Pharmacology

Andrew Owen

Andrew is co-director of the Centre of Excellence for Long-acting Therapeutics (CELT), a fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, a fellow of the British Pharmacological Society, a fellow of the Learned Society of Wales and a Trustee for the British Society for Nanomedicine. His clinical and basic research focuses on understanding mechanisms that underpin inter-patient variability in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. A major emphasis has been to employ knowledge of these mechanisms to accelerate the translation of novel drug delivery technologies. Since March 2020, professor Owen has been intensively engaged in preclinical and clinical evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 therapeutic candidates and he sits on the Trial Management Group for AGILE, a seamless phase I/IIa COVID19 platform and leads a local portfolio of preclinical candidate evaluation. He is co-inventor of patents relating to drug delivery and is principle investigator for LONGEVITY which is an international project that aims to translate novel long-acting medicines for malaria chemoprophylaxis, tuberculosis prevention and Hepatitis C Virus therapy. He also leads a modelling core for the NIH-funded Long-acting/Extended release Antiretroviral resource Program. Professor Owen is a director and the CSO for Tandem Nano Ltd.

Rannard Group

Steve Rannard

Steve is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Liverpool, UK. He is a co-director of Centre of Excellence for Long-acting Therapeutics (CELT), the academic lead for Nanomedicine within the Materials Innovation Factory and Director of the Radiomaterials Laboratory within the Department of Chemistry. His therapeutic research primarily focuses advanced materials science onto unmet medical/clinical needs to target new patient benefits using scalable polymer syntheses, nanoparticle synthesis, solid drug nanoparticle formulation and nanoemulsion platforms. Steve spent 16 years in industry (Cookson, Courtaulds, Unilever) and has co-founded four start-up companies (IOTA NanoSolutions Ltd, Hydra Polymers Ltd, Tandem Nano Ltd and Polymer Mimetics Ltd). Steve was the first recipient of the RSC/Macro Group UK Young Researcher of the Year Medal, sequential RSC Industrial Lectureships at Strathclyde and Sussex, a visiting Lectureship at Sussex, visiting Professorship at UoL and a Royal Society Industry Fellowship.

Cauldbeck Group

Helen Cauldbeck

Helen is a Unilever Research Fellow and head of the Radiomaterials Laboratory within the Department of Chemistry. She is a radiochemist with over 13 years’ research experience working at the interface of materials chemistry and nanomedicine. Helen’s current research focuses on the development of novel in vitro and ex vivo models to monitor drug delivery from therapeutic microneedle arrays, as well as other polymeric drug delivery platforms. Her focus on the use of radiometrics for the development of drug delivery platforms allows further understanding of formulation processes.

Giardiello Group

Marco Giardiello

Marco is a Lecturer and UKRI Research fellow working out of the Department of Chemistry. He graduated from The University of Leicester with an MChem degree in 2002 and a PhD in biological inorganic chemistry in 2007. The research focus was towards biologically responsive MRI contrast agents and luminescence lanthanide probes. In 2010 he joined University of Liverpool working on Non-Attrition HAART nanoparticle therapies for HIV/AIDS Drug Delivery and has since been awarded a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship to develop novel nanomedicine technologies.

Infection Pharmacology Group

Saye Khoo

Saye is a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Liverpool, and Honorary Consultant Physician in Infectious Diseases at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. His research focuses on infection pharmacology, including optimising dosing for special populations and drug-drug interactions in the treatment and prevention of HIV and TB. He leads the international DolPHIN consortium studying safe and effective use of anti-retrovirals in pregnancy, and provides clinical leadership for Liverpool Drug Interactions programme. He is also Chief Investigator for the AGILE Phase I/II platform for SARS CoV2 therapies.

Immunocompatibility Group

Neill Liptrott

Neill is a Reader in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics and is the lead for Biocompatibility within CELT. He has a background in Immunology and Pharmacology, and his research interests include investigating the interaction of advanced materials and complex medicines with, human, immune and haematological systems; supporting their clinical translation. He is the lead for Immunology and Haematology for EUNCL, Academic in Residence at the National Measurement Laboratory at LGC, Chair of the European Technology Platform for Nanomedicine working group on Safety and Characterisation, Intracellular Drug Delivery Centre (IDDC) steering group lead for adverse reactions, member of the ASTM E56 committee on Nanomedicines and is a member of the Liverpool City Region Health & Life Sciences board. Neill also coordinates the Nanotherapeutics Hub at CELT.

Perinatal Pharmacology Group

Adeniyi Olagunju

Adeniyi is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. He studied pharmacy at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria, Master of Research in Biomedical Science & Translational Medicine and PhD in Pharmacology at the University of Liverpool. He leads a group within CELT that uses a three-pronged strategy to advance evidence-based recommendations for long-acting therapeutics use in pregnancy and lactation: clinical research, human-relevant in vitro models and physiologically based pharmacokinetic modelling.

Tao You

Tao is a Reader in Pharmacology in the Depart of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. He is a mathematical modeller with over 10 years of industrial experience in drug discovery and development. His research focuses on translational PK/PD modelling and drug discovery. Modelling helps validate target, set target compound profile, design experiments, integrate pharmacodynamics across different scales, optimise combination treatments, qualify preclinical models, select clinical dosage and scheduling, and inform drug repurposing. Tao developed cancer treatments including osimertinib at AstraZeneca, led the PK/PD Modelling Laboratory at Boehringer Ingelheim and worked as a consultant for various companies as well as UK DHSC. He served as Lead PK/PD Modeller at UK COVID-19 Therapeutic Advisory Panel’s Due Diligence Team at MRC Head Office, where the insights arising from his rigorous and careful modelling work were a critical component of the assessments and pivotal to decision making.

James Stewart

James Stewart holds the Chair of Molecular Virology at the University of Liverpool where he is also Head of the Department of Infection Biology and Microbiomes. He is an expert virologist with over 25 years experience in establishing and using mouse and small animal models of virus infection, molecular biology and immunology. The early part of his career was spent studying pathogenesis, with a particular focus on the herpesvirus family. he developed murine gammaherpesvirus in mice as a model for studying authentic host-virus interactions, exploiting the power of virus reverse genetics and KO mouse technology. More recently he has moved to focus on pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2. influenza A, respiratory syncytial virus and human rhinovirus. He has developed an integrative toolkit and pathway with which to do this. He uses conventional and molecular techniques to analyse the course of virus infection combined with big data techniques and informatics to relate the function of viral determinants with host defence responses. While still studying pathogenesis, the COVID epidemic has changed his focus, and a large part of his research is developing novel therapeutics and interventions for SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory pathogens. He is currently leading small animal pre-clinical models of COVID-19 at the University of Liverpool. Prof Stewart has published over 120 peer-review manuscripts (h = 45). He leads and co-leads large multicentre research grants. Research funding has been secured from UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Medical Research Council (MRC), Innovate UK, UK Ministry of Defence, The Wellcome Trust, National Institutes for Health (NIH), and pharmaceutical companies. He has supervised >30 graduate students and mentored 20 PDRAs. He regularly sits on National and International funding award panels and is an academic editor for PLoS ONE. He is a member of the WHO COVID-19 animal models group. He Chairs the University Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body.