The Giardiello Group

The research aims of the Giardiello group are to develop novel Inorganic/Organic Nanocomposite Particles (I/O-NP) for use in both diagnostic and therapeutic nanomedicine, as well the development of hybrid nanoparticle structures that combine both therapeutic and diagnostic components, known as theranostics. Current research programmes are aimed at several emerging healthcare applications, including Proton Beam Therapy (PBT), Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI), Optical Imaging and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) with a focus towards strategies for image guided therapy, targeted delivery and drug release monitoring.

Dr Elena Ureña Horno

After earning her Master’s degree in 2010 at the CESIF, (Madrid), Elena worked at Alcala Farma before moving to the UK for a placement in Diamond Light Source, where she worked for the multimode infrared microscopy and imaging beamline B22. In 2019 she received her PhD in Nanoscience working on inorganic colloidal nanoparticles and their energy applications. Her research focused on the size and shape control, surface functionalization, and evaluation of the photoluminescence enhancing properties of Lanthanides Doped-Upconversion Nanoparticles. Elena joined the group to work with Inorganic/Organic Nanocomposite Particles for both diagnostic and therapeutic medical applications.


Dominic is smiling at the cameraDr Dominic Gray

Dom’s final year project during his MChem with professional experience at the University of Warwick focused on reversibly crosslinking thermoresponsive nanogels in Prof. Rachel O’Reilly’s group. From here, Dom went on to complete his PhD in Dr Seb Spain’s group at the University of Sheffield, where his project was a part of the CDT for polymers, soft matter and colloids and CASE sponsored by BASF. This work investigated controlled radical polymerization in surfactant-free aqueous conditions. Dom has been at the University of Liverpool since May 2019 joining the Giardiello group in June 2022 as a PDRA to begin investigation towards Inorganic/Organic Nanocomposite Particle development.


Neve Thomson

Neve graduated in the summer of 2021 with a first class MChem (Hons) degree from the University of Liverpool. During her undergraduate programme, she spent a semester abroad at the University of Georgia, before returning to complete a research project in Professor Matthew Rosseinsky’s group focussing on ion exchange in a multiple-anion material. During the summer of 2020, she completed an internship working alongside academics facilitating the transfer between virtual learning environments. For her Master’s project, Neve synthesised chiral functionalised enamine N-oxides in order to create new heterocyclic scaffolds for drug discovery. Neve was honoured with three academic awards during her undergraduate degree, most notably the Ellard Woolcott Prize in Chemistry in her final year for best performance in the Honours School of Chemistry. Neve is now studying for her PhD in the Giardiello group developing novel nanoparticulate theranostic agents for use in targeted drug delivery which can be monitored by MRI.

Daniel Traynor

Daniel graduated with a first class MChem degree before studying for his PhD to develop novel radiosensitisers for use in radiotherapy and Proton Beam Therapy. His research background includes investigating the effect of polymer morphology on the size and surfaces of gold nanoparticles and the optimisation of hydrophobic methacrylate polymerisations for nanoparticle formation.


Lewis is smiling at the cameraLewis Owens

Lewis graduated with a first class MChem degree from the University of Liverpool in 2022. During this time, he completed a summer placement at Unilever regarding deposition studies of potential new environmentally friendly materials. From there, he completed his MChem project within Prof. Paul O’Neill’s group, researching the synthesis of novel anti-malarial therapeutics. Since graduating, Lewis is now in the Giardiello group working towards his PhD with the goal of developing novel MPI tracers, with optimisation for theranostic applications.


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