From Edward Taylor

Drug Design and Delivery

The Drug Design and Delivery research groups builds upon expertise from the Schools of Life Sciences and Pharmacy and is reliant on the complementary techniques and facilities available. We have a wide range of expertise focussed on the design and delivery of novel therapeutics. Our research utilises a plethora of techniques, from organic chemistry, through protein biochemistry and structural techniques to cell culture and drug uptake studies to achieve our aims, which include:

  • Defining new methods to design biotherapeutics
  • Assessing novel delivery strategies
  • Developing innovative approaches to delivery of challenging small molecules
  • Interfacing nanotechnology with biologics

We have strong links with numerous UK universities and international collaborators. In addition we have collaborations with industrial partners such as Novozymes and Prozomics. We have strong links with the Molecular Basis of Disease research group as well as the School of Engineering, CAHRU, NCFM, the Animal Behaviour, Cognition and Welfare research group and School of Media.

Name Position/Research interests
Prof Nick Blagden Professor in Pharmaceutics
01522 837760
Dr Nicola Crewe Senior Lecturer
01522 837424
Dr Enrico Ferrari Senior Lecturer
01522 836302
Dr James Flint Lecturer
01522 836804
Dr Alan Goddard Senior Lecturer
01522 886864
Dr Clare Miller Senior Lecturer
01522 837364
Dr Ishwar Singh Senior Lecturer
01522 886915
Dr Edward Taylor Royal Society University Research Fellow
01522 837314/span>
Dr Driton Vllasaliu Senior Lecturer
01522 837657

Protein Biochemistry and Biophysics

We are interested in a wide variety of proteins, ranging from soluble proteins involved in cellular responses to drugs to large membrane-bound complexes which may provide drug targets. We use an array of biochemical and biophysical techniques to probe the function and mechanism of action of these proteins. Members of this laboratory include Dr Enrico Ferrari, Dr James Flint, Dr Alan Goddard, Dr Lorna Lancaster and Dr Edward Taylor.

Structural Biology

The aim of structural biology is to work out the molecular structure of molecules important to life and use that information in order to explore biological questions. Some of the questions being addressed by Dr’s Edward Taylor and James Flint’s groups focus on the role of proteins that are involved in the modification and turnover of components of the bacterial cell wall and how the structures of these proteins can be used to attempt to develop novel antimicrobial strategies. Other projects in the laboratory focus on how structures of commercially important proteins can be used to design and modify enzymes that are more suited to industrial exploitation. This can help reduce costs, waste or environmental impact from large scale production processes. In order to determine these biologically important structures, we use recombinant protein expression, protein purification techniques and macromolecular X-ray crystallography. Many other biophysical, genetic and biochemical techniques are then used to relate the structures of the proteins to their function in the original organism or to analyse how properties of the proteins can be modified for specific purposes.


Nanobiotechnolgy lies at the interface between nanoscale sciences and biotechnology. The disciplines that nanobiotechnology deals with are many and very diverse: nanotechnologies for biology and medicine, self-assembly of biological molecules, biosensors based on nanomaterials, nanoscale devices and new nanomaterial carriers for drug delivery to name some. Due to the multi-disciplinary nature of the subject, the Nanobiotechnology lab at the University of Lincoln includes members from both School of Life Sciences and School of Pharmacy. Dr Enrico Ferrari works on self-assembling of proteins and bioconjugation, Dr Ishwar Singh also works on bioconjugation and he has broad experience in chemical biology and drug delivery, Dr Driton Vllasaliu works on nanomedicine, delivery of biopharmaceuticals and mucosal models. Their research benefits from state of the art in house facilities and instruments for the synthesis of recombinant proteins, synthetic chemistry, nanoparticles characterization and nanoscale imaging (AFM and SEM). Prof Nicholas Blagden contributes to the pre formulation and drug delivery aspects of the groups work, and in the area of crystal growth, crystal engineering and nano medicine.

Anti-microbials and anti-virals

Infectious diseases caused by bacteria, fungi and viruses are a major health problem for humans and animals. There are still many infections that have no cure and with increasing antibiotic resistance problems many treatments are no longer viable. Work within the anti-microbial and anti-viral lab includes research into antibiotic mode of action and antibiotic resistance by Dr Ron Dixon. Dr Clare Miller works on the interactions between antimicrobial agents and membranes and is also interested in the dissemination of microbiological information through traditional and social media. There is also research into alternative antimicrobial agents such as bacteriocins and bacteriophage by Dr Lorna Lancaster and Dr Ross Williams.

• Advanced microscopy – AFM, SEM, confocal

• Recombinant protein expression and purification

• Microbiology CAT2 suite

• Cell culture

• Organic Chemistry – DNA/RNA modifications

• Rational drug design

• Pharmacology of drug design

• Protein biochemistry

• Cell penetrating peptides for biologics

• Synthetic cell membranes

• Bio-conjugation

• Biologics delivery

• Mucosal delivery

• Nanotechnology

• Nanocarrier formulation

• Nanomedicine interaction with biological systems

• Self-assembly

• Structural biophysical analysis

• DNA diagnostics

Current and recent projects include:

“Immuno-NanoDecoder”, funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union to Enrico Ferrari and Ishwar Singh

“Peptide-guided intracellular delivery of biotherapeutics”, funded by a Wellcome Trust summer Studentship to Driton Vllasaliu (£1700)

“Purification of Paracoccus nitrogen oxyanion transporters”, funded by a Society of General Microbiology Harry Smith Vacation Studentship to Alan Goddard (£1766)

Royal Society URF to Edward Taylor (£168,443)

Selected Recent Publications:

Goddard, Alan and Dijkman, Patricia and Adamson, Roslin and Dos Reis, Rosana and Watts, Anthony (2015) Reconstitution of membrane proteins: a GPCR as an example. Methods in Enzymology, 556, 405-424.

Southgate, Laura and Sukalo, Maja and Karountzos, Anastasios S. V. and Taylor, Edward J. and Collinson, Claire S. and Ruddy, Deborah and Snape, Katie M. and Dallapiccola, Bruno and Tolmie, John L. and Joss, Shelagh and Brancati, Francesco and Digilio, M. Cristina and Graul-Neumann, Luitgard M. and Salviati, Leonardo and Coerdt, Wiltrud and Jacquemin, Emmanuel and Wuyts, Wim and Zenker, Martin and Machado, Rajiv D. and Trembath, Richard C. (2015) Haploinsufficiency of the NOTCH1 receptor as a cause of Adams-Oliver Syndrome with variable cardiac anomalies. Circulation: Cardiovascular genetics, 8.

Shubber, Saif and Vllasaliu, Driton and Rauch, Cyril and Jordan, Faron and Illum, Lisbeth and Stolnik, Snjezana (2015) Mechanism of mucosal permeability enhancement of CriticalSorb® (Solutol® HS15) investigated In Vitro in cell cultures. Pharmaceutical Research, 32, 516-527.

Arsenault J, Cuijpers S, Ferrari E, Niranjan D, Rust A, Leese C, O’Brien JA, Binz T & Bazbek Davletov B  (2014) Botulinum protease-cleaved SNARE fragments induce cytotoxicity in neuroblastoma cells, J. Neurochem. 129, 781-791

Ferrari E, Gu C, Niranjan D, Restani L, Rasetti-Escargueil C, Obara I, Geranton SM, Arsenault J, Goetze TA, Harper CB, Nguyen TH, Maywood E, O’Brien J, Schiavo G, Wheeler DW, Meunier F, Hastings M, Edwardson JM, Sesardic D, Caleo M, Hunt SP, Davletov B (2013) A synthetic self-assembling clostridial chimera for modulation of sensory functions. Bioconjugate Chemistry 24, 1750–1759. 

Vllasaliu, Driton and Casettari, Luca and Bonacucina, Giulia and Cespi, Marco (2013) Folic acid conjugated chitosan nanoparticles for tumour targeting of therapeutic and imaging agents. Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology. ISSN: 2211-7385

Singh, Ishwar and Wendeln, Christian and Clark, Alasdair W. and Cooper, Jonathan M. and Ravoo, Bart Jan and Burley, Glenn A. (2013) Sequence-selective detection of double-stranded DNA sequences using pyrrole-imidazole polyamide microarrays. Journal of the American Chemical Society , 135 (9). pp. 3449-3457. ISSN: 0002-7863

Hemsworth, Glyn R. and Taylor, Ed and Kim, Robbert Q. and Gregory, Rebecca C. and Lewis, Sally J. and Turkenburg, Johan P. and Parkin, Alison and Davies, Gideon John and Walton, Paul Howard (2013) The copper active site of CBM33 polysaccharide oxygenases. Journal of the American Chemical Society. ISSN: 0002-7863

Cuskin F, Flint JE, Gloster TM, Morland C, Baslé A, Henrissat B, Coutinho PM, Strazzulli A, Solovyova AS, Davies GJ, Gilbert HJ. (2012) How nature can exploit nonspecific catalytic and carbohydrate binding modules to create enzymatic specificity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Dec 18;109(51):20889-94. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1212034109

Ferrari, Enrico and Soloviev, Mikhail and Niranjan, Dhevahi and Arsenault, Jason and Gu, Chunjing and Vallis, Yvonne and O'Brien, John and Davletov, Bazbek (2012) Assembly of protein building blocks using a short synthetic peptide. Bioconjugate Chemistry, 23 (3). pp. 479-484. ISSN: 1043-1802

Lancaster, Lorna and Saydam, Manolya and Markey, Kevin and Ho, Mei and Mawas, Fatme (2011) Immunogenicity and physico-chemical characterisation of a candidate conjugate vaccine against group B streptococcus serotypes Ia, Ib and III. Vaccine, 29 (7). pp. 3213-3221. ISSN: 0264-410X

Selmi, Daniele N. and Adamson, Roslin J. and Attrill, Helen and Goddard, Alan D. and Gilbert, Robert J. C. and Watts , Anthony and Turberfield, Andrew J. (2011) DNA-templated protein arrays for single-molecule imaging. Nano Letters, 11 (2). pp. 657-660. ISSN: 1530-6984

Ali, Hany S. M. and York, Peter and Ali, Ahmed M. A. and Blagden, Nicholas (2011) Hydrocortisone nanosuspensions for ophthalmic delivery: a comparative study between microfluidic nanoprecipitation and wet milling. Journal of Controlled Release, 149 (2). pp. 175-181. ISSN: 0168-3659

We welcome applications at any time from prospective MSc by Research (MScRes), MPhil and PhD students wishing to join our thriving postgraduate research community. For further information on the range of research topics available, please see the individual staff pages and contact potential supervisors directly.

We actively participate in School Visits and open days.

School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln. LN6 7TS 

tel: + 44 (0)1522 886654