Dr Andrew Thorley is a Lecturer in Lung Cell Biology at the National Heart and Lung Institute with a research focus on medical applications of nanotechnology and pulmonary innate immunity. Dr Thorley also lectures on, and is a course leader of, a number of undergraduate Medicine, Biomedical Science, and Engineering courses.
Dr Thorley graduated from University of Bath in 2000 with a Masters in Pharmacology and has since worked with a number of pharmaceutical companies including AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer, Syngenta, Arriva and Baxter.
Dr Thorley joined Imperial College London in 2000, where his doctoral research initially focused on Toll-like receptor mediated inflammatory responses of alveolar macrophages and epithelium. In 2008, Dr Thorley was awarded an EPSRC/RCUK academic fellowship in nanotoxicology which expanded his research to study the interaction of engineered nanoparticles with cells of the peripheral lung. This programme of research includes how engineered nanoparticles may modify the host response to microbial ligands, how physicochemical properties of nanoparticles affect their interaction with, and uptake by, pulmonary cells, and the development of antibody-tagged nanoparticles as novel vectors for pulmonary drug delivery. This has led to Dr Thorleys current focus on design and synthesis of novel nanotherapeutics for the treatment of lung cancer.
Carbon nanotube-induced disruption of human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cell junction integrity. (A) Untreated control (B) 24 hours exposure to 5µg/ml CNTs. The adherens junction protein VE-cadherin is depicted in green, f-actin in red and the cell nucleus in blue. Arrows indicate gaps forming between adjacent cells. Area inside white box is shown at a higher resolution below.
Uptake of vinorelbine-loaded PLGA nanoparticles into human lung cancer cells. Human cancer cells were exposed for 24 hours to polymer nanoparticles loaded with the chemotherapy vinorelbine, and uptake visualised using conofcal microscopy. (A) Nucleus (B) Lysosomes (C) Vinorelbine nanoparticles (D) Merge. Nanoparticles were shown to colocalise with lysosomes (yellow), where the nanoparticles are likely degraded, releasing the vinorelbine.
Antibody targeting of gold nanoparticles. Gold nanoparticles were labelled with a monoclonal antibody targeting podoplanin, a protein upregulated in agressive metastatic non-small cell lung cancers that is associated with a poor prognosis. Podoplanin antibody labelling of gold nanoparticles significantly increased nanoparticle uptake by podoplanin expressing cells, suggesting this could be an exciting approach for targeted delivery of chemotherapeutic agents.
3-dimensional in vitro model of the alveolar-capillary barrier. Primary human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (B) were grown on the basolateral side of a porous membrane whilst primary human alveolar type II epithelial cells and immortalised human alveolar type I epithelial cells (C) were grown in co-culture on the apical side. This in vitro model has been used to investigate translocation of nanomaterials from the respiratory gas exchange surface to the underlying capillary network.
Dr Thorley's recent research has been funded by Wellcome Trust, The Royal Society, EPSRC, DEFRA, MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, NHLI Foundation, Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim.
In addition to his academic work, Dr Thorley sits on the Nanotechnology committee of the British Standards Institute, the Public Engagement committee for the Society of Biology and is a committee member of the British Association for Lung Research. Dr Thorley is also a member of the MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health and sits on their Training Programme Committee.
et al., 2016, Translocation of Functionalized Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes across Human Pulmonary Alveolar Epithelium: Dominant Role of Epithelial Type 1 Cells, ACS Nano, Vol:10, ISSN:1936-0851, Pages:5070-5085
et al., 2014, Critical Determinants of Uptake and Trans location of Nanoparticles by the Human Pulmonary Alveolar Epithelium, ACS Nano, Vol:8, ISSN:1936-0851, Pages:11778-11789
et al., 2014, Imaging Single Nanoparticle Interactions with Human Lung Cells Using Fast Ion Conductance Microscopy, Nano Letters, Vol:14, ISSN:1530-6984, Pages:1202-1207
et al., 2010, Differential Effect Of Toll-like Receptor Activation On Primary Human Alveolar Epithelium And Alveolar Macrophage Mediator Release In Vitro; Synergistic Effect Of Co-culture, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol:181, ISSN:1073-449X
Thorley AJ, Tetley TD, 2013, New perspectives in nanomedicine, Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Vol:140, ISSN:0163-7258, Pages:176-185
et al., 2011, Innate Immune Responses to Bacterial Ligands in the Peripheral Human Lung - Role of Alveolar Epithelial TLR Expression and Signalling, PLOS One, Vol:6, ISSN:1932-6203
et al., 2012, Engineered Nanomaterials, Pollutants, Human Health and the Environment: A Risk Based Approach, Pages:287-318, ISBN:9780470742617
Zambianchi MZ, Tetley TD, Thorley AJ, 2013, ALVEOLAR EPITHELIAL DNA DAMAGE, INFLAMMATION AND ALTERED AUTOPHAGY FOLLOWING EXPOSURE TO SILVER NANOPARTICLES IS EXACERBATED BY VIRAL LIGANDS IN VITRO, Winter Meeting of the British-Thoracic-Society, BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, Pages:A52-A52, ISSN:0040-6376
Nestorowa S, Tetley TD, Thorley AJ, 2013, PULMONARY SURFACTANT PROTECTS AGAINST SILVER NANOPARTICLE-INDUCED INFLAMMATION IN THE PERIPHERAL HUMAN LUNG, Winter Meeting of the British-Thoracic-Society, BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, Pages:A138-A139, ISSN:0040-6376