Professor Robert Forbes
Rob is a Professor of Clinical Pharmaceutics. He is also a member of the School’s Senior Executive Team. He joined us in 2015 with over 20 years of industrial and academic experience. A qualified pharmacist, he retains his interest in the study of small drug molecules. Despite this, his research is now largely directed towards the stabilisation and formulation of biopharmaceuticals. Rob is a GPhC registrant. He is research active in Drug Development and Drug Delivery and Nano-medicine. He teaches on the MPharm and MSc courses relating to biotechnological and pharmaceutical products.
Rob has been our School Research Lead and headed up the pharmaceutics and chemistry theme. He has been a member of our research degree committee and a member of the university's highest teaching and learning committee. He was an expert member of the university UoA3 panel towards its REF2022 submission.
Rob has a degree in Pharmacy, and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Technology from the University of Bradford. Prior to his appointment here, he held a Chair in Biophysical Pharmaceutics within the School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Life Sciences, at the University of Bradford. Before joining the faculty at Bradford, he spent some time in the Pharmaceutical Industry. He has a PhD background in the pharmaceutics of salt form selection. This was under the supervision of Prof Peter York and Dr James Wells and was applied in practice in Industry when he worked for Astra in Sweden.
Rob conducted post-doctoral work in the formulation of depot injections and went on to lead a preformulation team. His responsibilities included optimising physical form selection e.g. salt selection, polymorph, amorphous forms. Aspects of the work contributed to patents and intellectual property. Since moving to academia, his industrial background and expertise has been useful in progressing many collaborative research projects. Particular highlights include supervising over 20 PhD students to completion; his involvement in Innovate UK R&D grants; and time leading the speciality research Biopharmaceutical Formulation Group.
Rob has been seconded to Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies Ltd to work in the analytical development department under an Innovate UK innovation scholar award. This and his industrial research collaborations have enabled him to keep up to date on industrial practice in biopharmaceutical formulation and analysis.
Rob took part in a podcast for The Conversation in early 2020 about his research into personalised medicine for children using 3D Printing technology. The article containing the podcast is called ‘From 3D printing drugs to social prescribing – Medicine made for you part 3’.
Rob is more than happy to support research projects for external funding or sponsorship. Enquiries are particularly welcome from potential researchers with backgrounds in chemistry, pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences or other related disciplines.
- External examining – Postgraduate: Recent PhD examinations at: Kings College London, Imperial College, UCL, University of Reading, University of Nottingham, Trinity College Dublin, University of Helsinki
- External examiner for University of Lincoln BSc Pharmaceutical Science (2018-2022)
- Member of university revalidation team – Pharmacy provision - University of Ulster (2020)
- External examiner for UCL School of Pharmacy MSc in Drug Delivery (2012-16)
- External examiner for Pharmaceutics, undergraduate Pharmacy degree, University College Cork (2015-2019)
- External examiner for Pharmaceutics; undergraduate Pharmacy degree. Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (2012-2015)
- Member of university validation team – proposed MSci Hons Pharmaceutical Biosciences University of Ulster (2014)
- External examiner for Pharmaceutical Industry Advanced Training Programme University of Manchester (2008 - 2010)
- Member of university validation team – proposed MSc Industrial Pharmaceutical Science – University of Brighton (2010)
Rob's expertise is in formulation and drug delivery. This is with a focus on molecular interactions and protein aggregation. His research aims to develop a fundamental understanding of molecular assemblies and non-covalent bond interaction. Primarily, the interest has been directed towards molecular behaviour in formulated medicinal products and devices. Moving forward, his current research is focused on the formulation and understanding of the behaviour of complex molecules in complex environments. Improved understanding of in-vitro in-vivo interactions and drug-drug and drug-food interactions are of emerging broad interest. Novel scale-down techniques to rapidly map formulation design space are currently being investigated. This is with an aim of aiding long-term stability prediction.
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