Prof. Robert T Forbes

Prof. Robert T Forbes

Professor of Clinical Pharmaceutics Thematic Lead Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry Research Lead School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

Maudland Building MB005

+44 (0) 1772 89 3513

Subject Areas: Chemistry, Health, Pharmacy and Pharmacology

Rob is Professor of Clinical Pharmaceutics and heads up the Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry thematic group within the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Lancashire, UK.

He joined UCLan 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 but his research is now largely directed towards the stabilisation and formulation of biopharmaceuticals.

Rob is a GPhC registrant and is research active in Drug Discovery and Drug Delivery and Nano-medicine

Full Profile

Research Overview

My expertise is in formulation and drug delivery with a focus on molecular interactions and in particular protein aggregation. My 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, 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 with an aim of aiding long-term stability prediction

I have a degree in Pharmacy, and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Technology from the University of Bradford. Prior to my appointment at UCLan, I 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, I spent some time within the Pharmaceutical Industry.  A PhD background in the pharmaceutics of salt form selection under the supervision of Prof Peter York and Dr James Wells was applied in practice in Industry when I worked for Astra in Sweden. I conducted post-doctoral work in the formulation of depot injections and went on to lead a preformulation team.  My 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 my industrial background and expertise has been useful in progressing many collaborative research projects. Particular highlights include the supervision of over 20 PhD students to completion, my involvement in Innovate UK R&D grants, and my time leading the speciality research Biopharmaceutical Formulation Group at the University of Bradford.

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’

Other esteem measures and experience:

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 examining – Undergraduate/Postgraduate Teaching, recent experience as:

  • External examiner for UCL School of Pharmacy MSc in Drug Delivery (2012-16)
  • External examiner for Pharmaceutics, undergraduate Pharmacy degree, University College Cork, (2015-
  • 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)


Any available funded postdoctoral posts and studentships are generally advertised on the website If you are interested in being a postdoctoral researcher or PhD student and have your own funding you are welcome to write to me directly, attaching a CV. I am more than happy to help develop research projects for external funding or sponsorship. The research theme is broad and multidisciplinary. Enquiries are particularly welcome from potential researchers with backgrounds in chemistry, pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences or other related disciplines.



A Taylor Dispersion Analysis Method for the Sizing of Therapeutic Proteins and Their Aggregates Using Nanolitre Sample Quantities Wendy Hulse, Robert T Forbes International Journal of Pharmaceutics 416 (2011) p394-397 

Taylor Dispersion Analysis Compared to Dynamic Light Scattering for The Size Analysis of Therapeutic Peptides and Proteins and Their Aggregates Andrea Hawe, Wendy L. Hulse, Wim Jiskoot, Robert T. Forbes Pharm Res  28(9) (2011) p2302-2310

Hulse WL. Gray J. Forbes RT. A discriminatory intrinsic dissolution study using UV area imaging analysis to gain additional insights into the dissolution behaviour of active pharmaceutical ingredients. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 434, 133-139 (2012)