Dr Tamara Zwain
Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Science
School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
Tamara is lecturer in Pharmaceutical Science here since June 2022. Tamara has a PhD from our School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences. Her degree is in developing nanoparticle formulations. This is for targeted drug delivery to treat brain cancer. She has a wide experience in pharmaceutical formulation design, nanomedicine, and cancer research. She has experience in screening compounds through 2D and 3D in-vitro cancer and Blood Brain Barrier models.
Tamara has attained her BSc in Pharmacy in 2008. This allowed her to gain a wide clinical background with many years of experience in clinical fieldwork overseas, management, and supervision of newly pharmacy graduate students.
In 2019, Tamara started her postdoctoral Research Associate at our School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences. She was then appointed as Associate Lecturer in pharmaceutics. Tamara worked on several patented industry projects collaborating with a Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology companies. She also taught undergraduate and postgraduate students at various levels on various subjects.
Tamara is appointed a module lead for two modules in MSc taught course (Drug Discovery and Development). Tamara is skilled in teaching and project management. Tamara is currently working on designing nano-based formulations for cancer treatment by using phytochemicals (plant-based compounds) to evaluate if they have any anti-cancer activity. Tamara is also leading a research group to design selective targeted therapy using Aptamers, antibodies, etc to investigate their ability to enhance the drug/plant-based compounds brain permeation.
In addition, Tamara supervised students at different levels and qualifications, for undergraduate projects in biology/physiology and pharmacology courses, MSc taught course (Drug Design and Discovery), MSc by research and PhD students.
Tamara believes that teaching and research are a mission. This is not only about conveying what is in the books but is also about transferring knowledge and sharing experiences with students and fellow researchers in the best way possible.
- Granulation, capsules and tablet preparation, quality control tests for tablets (Dissolution using USP Dissolution Apparatus 2, friability using Dual drum friability tester and hardness) are amongst others.
- Designing various dosage forms, nanoparticles, development and optimisation of formulations by factorial design.
- Expert in producing various types of nanoparticles (Hybrid, protein (Albumin), solid and liquid lipid-based nanoparticles, nanosuspension and nanostructured lipid carrier, nanoparticles composing of biocompatible and biodegradable materials).
- Nanoparticle preparation using various techniques (Panda PLUS 2000 and Nano de bee High Pressure Homogenizers, and high-speed homogeniser probe sonication).
- Surface modification of nanoparticles with ligands (aptamers, antibodies and fatty acids).
- Validation of surface-modified formulation with aptamers, antibodies, peptides and various other ligands.
- Evaluation of surfactant and lipids for nanoparticle development.
- Nanoparticle size characterisations using (Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA), Zeta sizer)
- Scanning electron microscope (SEM), SEM/EDS (Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy), Raman Spectroscopy, X-ray Powder Diffraction (XRD), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA).
- Colorimetric assays using the spectrophotometer.
- Evaluation of in-vitro drug release pattern.
- Freeze drying nanoparticles and other compounds to produce free flow powder.
- High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method development.
- Quantification and extraction of compounds from nanoparticles and biological matrix.
- Using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) for analysis and quantification.
- In-vitro cell culture using 2D and 3D models (handled around 20 cell models originated from patient-derived short-term culture, primary cell lines and immortalised cell lines).
- Development of 3D tumour spheroids, screening compounds and nanoparticles in the 3D spheroids model.
- Expert in setting mono, co- and tri-culture from variable cell lines.
- Sub-culturing cell lines and relevant techniques.
- Cell biology (cell treatment, viability/toxicity/safety assessments, nanoparticles mitochondrial activity (seahorse), nanoparticles uptake and internalisation, apoptosis and other assays) by using plate reader, flow cytometer, fluorescence and confocal microscopy.
- Pathway study and cell cycle analysis for variable compounds.
3D in-vitro Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) model, developing novel techniques
- Expert in setting 3D models from primary human cell lines.
- Developing and evaluating the permeability and uptake in a 3D in-vitro tumour-BBB model developed from a patient-derived short-term culture, primary and immortalised cell lines.
- Aptamers, nanoparticle and compound screening in the model using the ohm meter and HPLC.
- Permeability and active transport evaluation for nanoparticles and other compounds.
- Efflux study in the model for nanoparticles and other compounds.
- PhD Pharmaceutics, Nanoparticle formulation development and drug targeted delivery design for brain cancer treatment (University of Central Lancashire, 2018)
- BSc in Pharmacy (Baghdad College of Pharmacy, 2008)
- Faculty Research Day/UCLan event, 2018 (poster presentation), winner of the best preclinical poster
- Formulation design
- Drug discovery and nanomedicine
- Designing targeted cancer therapy
- Nanoparticle formulations for cancer, malaria and bacterial infections
- UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), member, 2021
- Centre of Smart Material (CSM), member, 2019
- Research Centre for Translational Biosciences and Behaviour, member, 2019
- Early carrier research, UCLan group (ECR), 2019
- The British Society for Nanomedicine (BSNM), member, 2019
- The United Kingdom and Ireland Controlled Release Society (UKICRS), member, 2016
- Controlled Release Society (CRS), member, 2015
- Brain Tumour North West, member, 2014
- The syndicate of Iraqi Pharmacists, senior member, 2008
Tamara has worked on various research topics including cancer research and nanomedicine.
Tamara collaborates with internal and external staff/researchers, with various institutes:
- Drug development, drug delivery and Nanomedicine, collaborating with Prof Kamalinder Singh.
- Screening compounds through developed 2D and 3D in-vitro Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) and tumour models, collaborating with Dr Jane Alder.
- Evaluating activity of Aptamers for future cancer targeted therapy and application Collaborating with Dr Clare Louise Lawrence.
- Collaborating with microbiology and histopathology team at UCLan with Dr David Wareing to develop a new formulation.
- ‘’Application of nanoparticles to treatment of bacterial infection.’’ Utilising plants for cancer therapy and formulation development collaborating with Dr Roshini Mathews.
- In-vitro cellular tissue testing derived from patients [collaborating with Preston hospital and Brain tumour Northwest (BTNW), and Wolverhampton University] and immortalised cell lines for cancer therapy evaluation.
- Collaborating with Joseph Hayes project ‘’Structure-based design of Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3α/β inhibitors with potential against glioblastoma."
- Collaborating with Dr Ali Al-Janabi for human and pig bone samples physicochemical characterisation.
- Working on developing a 3D in-vitro skin module intended for screening formulations and other compounds to study the permeability.
- Analytical method development and validation according to FDA and ICH guidelines for the new discovered drug.
Use the links below to view their profiles:
- View their unique and persistent identifier on the ORCiD registry
- Full list of publications and articles on CLoK
- Plant extract loaded lipid nanoparticles for potential selective glioblastoma treatment
- Docetaxel Nanostructured lipid carrier with enhanced blood brain barrier permeability for targeted glioblastoma therapy
- Polyunsaturated fatty acid-based targeted nanostructured lipid carrier system with enhanced brain permeability: a novel approach for treating breast to metastatic brain cancer
- High potency and selectivity towards glioblastoma for polyunsaturated fatty acids surface-modified nanoparticles with enhanced BBB penetration
- Selective targeted therapy of glioblastoma by aptamer functionalised nanostructured lipid carrier. In-vitro evaluation in immortalised, primary glioma cell lines and 3D BBB model
- Brain tumour north-west (BTNW) conference 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 (Oral presentation)
- Postgraduate poster session/UCLan event, 2017 (Poster presentation)
- Postgraduate poster session/UCLan event, 2018 (Poster presentation)
- 2nd international workshop on Nanomaterials in Health / Medicine, 2018 (Poster presentation)
- Postgraduate (PGR) seminars/UCLan event, 2018 (Oral presentation)
- Faculty Research Day/UCLan event, 2018 (Poster presentation), Tamara was awarded the winner of the best preclinical poster
- Pharmaceutics and Novel Drug Delivery Systems 17th Edition of International Conference and Exhibition, 2018 (Oral presentation)
- British Society for Nanomedicine (BSNM) Early career research meeting, 2019
- Pharmaceutics and Novel Drug Delivery Systems 18th Edition of International Conference and Exhibition in Poland, October 2019 (Oral presentation)
- Smart materials centre (SMC) UCLan event, an oral presentation, December 2019
- Showcasing event December 2019 with Innovation and Enterprise showcase at the University of Central Lancashire
- Participated in the research day event at UCLan and presented a poster, January 2020
- Participated in UCLan pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences career fair, February 2020
- Presented in the 2nd INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM via Virtual Platform Functional Nanomaterials in Industrial Applications: Academy-Industry-Clinicians Meet 14-16 July 2020, an oral presentation
- Presented at the British Society for Nanomedicine (BSNM) Early career research virtual meeting, 2020
- Presented in the ECR-UCLan group networking virtual meeting, January 2021
- Presented at PABS school research day, 2022
Email: Email:Dr Tamara Zwain
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