Ka Wai Wan

Dr. Ka-Wai Wan

Principal Lecturer in Pharmaceutics

School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

Maudland Building, MB138

+44 (0) 1772 89 5822

Subject Areas: Pharmacy

 Ka-Wai is research active within the area of pharmacy and biomedical sciences and is a member of the Drug Design, Analysis and Delivery Research Group.

Full Profile

Ka-Wai Wan joined the University in July 2011 and is currently working as a senior lecturer in pharmaceutics and is the course leader for the MSc Industrial Pharmaceutics programme at the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, which had its first intake of students in 2011. Ka-Wai is a hospital-trained pharmacist with a PhD in the area of targeted polymeric drug delivery systems. She is interested in the use of nanoparticulate drug delivery systems for the treatment of various diseases.

Ka-Wai is a pharmacist by training and graduated with a first class honours degree in pharmacy from the former School of Pharmacy, University of London, now University of College London (UCL) in 1999. She was trained as a hospital pharmacist at Stepping Hill Hospital before completing her PhD in pharmaceutical science and drug delivery at the Welsh School of Pharmacy (Cardiff University) in 2005 under the supervision of Professor Ruth Duncan from the Centre for Polymer Therapeutics.

She worked as a lecturer in pharmaceutics at Keele University for over five years before joining UCLan in in July 2011. Ka-Wai has been involved in the teaching of pharmaceutics and pharmacy practice, and is responsible for both teaching and research in the taught and research programmes at the School, including MPharm, BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences, and MSc Cancer Biology and MSc Industrial Pharmaceutics etc.


Phd Pharmaceutical Science and Drug Delivery, Cardiff University, 2005

BPharm(Hons), London School of Pharmacy, 1999

PGCertHE, Keele University, 2008

PGDipHE, University of Central Lancashire, 2012


Griffiths, P., Paul, A., Khayat, Z., Duncan, R., Vicent, M. J., Wan, K-W., King, S. M., Grillo, I., Schweins, R., Ferruti, P., Franchini, J. (2004). Understanding the mechanism of action of endosomolytic polymers: correlation of physicochemical and biological properties. Biomacromolecules, 5, 1422-1427

Wan, K-W., Vicent, M., Duncan, R. (2003). Targeting endothelial cells using HPMA copolymer-doxorubicin-RGD conjugates. In Proceedings of the 30th Annual Meeting of the Controlled Release Society, # 491. Glasgow, UK

Wan, K-W., Malgesini, B., Verpilio, I., Ferruti, P., Griffiths, P., Duncan, R. (2004). Poly(amidoamine) salt form: effect on pH-dependent membrane activity and polymer conformation in solution. Biomacromolecules, 5, 1102-1109


Ka-Wai’s research interests lie in the field of advanced drug delivery systems (polymers, liposomes and colloidal systems) for targeted therapy and delivery of macromolecules such as genes and proteins. She is particularly interested in the applications and biological fate (intracellular trafficking and toxicological effects) of targeted delivery systems for the treatment of diseases such as cancer. It is believed that appropriate design and characterisation of these biomaterials and delivery systems could help improve / supersede conventional therapies.

Past research experience focused on targeting the tumour endothelium using integrin-targeted polymeric agents as a means of anti-angiogenic or vascular targeting for cancer treatment. Conjugation of the targeting motif, GRGD peptide, to the lysosomotropic polymer [HPMA copolymer] and the endosomolytic polymer [poly(amidoamine)s (PAAs)] showed selective delivery of either chemotherapy (eg, doxorubicin) or protein toxins (eg, gelonin) to endothelial cells in vitro.

Current research projects also involve targeting to the tumour endothelium using integrin-targeted nanoparticles. In addition, nanoparticulate drug delivery system for enhanced localisation and delivery of anti-infectives through the skin is also being investigated.

In terms of developing a better MSc course and as part of her M.Ed. project, Ka-Wai is also studying the potential reasons and implication of a lack of mathematical skills amongst PG students who pursue PG studies in the field of physical sciences.


Targeted nanoparticulate drug delivery system for the treatment of cancer

Polymeric nanoparticulate drug delivery system for CNS delivery

Formulation design and drug delivery systems for the prevention or treatment of infectious diseases


Member of the Pharmaceutical Society (MPharmS)

Member of the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)

Member of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences (APS)

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Member of The Association for Learning Technology (ALT)

Teaching Activities and Responsibilities

Ka-Wai is actively involved in the teaching of all aspects of pharmaceutical science (e.g. biopharmaceutics, drug development, pre-formulation, regulatory issues, solutions, rheology, solid dosage forms, granulation, drying, creams, gels, advanced drug delivery systems, delivery of macromolecules and transdermal delivery etc.)

She is also the module leader for Drug Development (L7) and Pharmaceutical Regulation, Clinical Trials & Pharmacovigilance (L7), as well as the Course Leader for MSc Industrial Pharmaceutics. Therefore she has responsibilities for the curriculum design and delivery, assessments, invigilation and marking of the relevant subject areas, evaluation and development of the modules, in addition to other administrative tasks as a module leader and course leader.