Professor Porter and Dr Pinna

This webinar will be held on zoom. The structure of the event will be a presentation followed by audience Q&A. Please register to be sent the joining instructions. You can pre-submit questions for the Q&A section when registering.

This webinar is part of the series

Molecular Level Understanding is Crucial for Targeted Drug Delivery in the Brain

The theme discussed in this webinar will be:

Nanoparticles for treatment of Tuberculous Meningitis

Professor. Alexandra Porter

Faculty of Engineering, Department of Materials, Professor of Bio-imaging and Analysis

Alexandra’s group uses correlative electron microscopy techniques to characterise interfaces between biomaterials and cells. Her great interest is in developing a mechanistic understanding of how the chemistry of these materials controls their degradation behaviour, and ultimate bioactivity, to improve their performance and safety. This interest stemmed from her PhD on understanding the mechanisms by which silicon increases the quality of bone around hydroxyapatite bone grafts (now being sold by Baxter). She works on a number of systems, including the environmental fate and toxicology of nanomaterials / plastics and how bone’s quality and toughness become altered in pathological tissues. She also designs new nanomaterials to cross the blood brain barrier and treat Parkinson’s disease and for treatment of tuberculosis and breast cancers.

Alexandra holds and MEng from Oxford University, and a PhD from Cambridge University in Biomedical Materials. She worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, MIT and The Nanoscience Centre Cambridge, under the guidance of Sir Mark Welland and Prof. Paul Midgley. She held the Oppenheimer Research fellowship for physical sciences at Cambridge University and a Junior Research Fellowship at Newhall College, Cambridge.

Dr. Alessandra Pinna

Faculty of Engineering, Department of Materials, Imperial College Research Fellow

Dr. Pinna is an Imperial College Research Fellow at the department of Materials. Her research interests focus on the design, synthesis and characterization of inorganic nanoparticles and nanocomposites (silica, ceria, SPION and gold) for biomedical applications with particular interest in drug delivery and antioxidant system. The nanocomposite particles are used for the treatment of neuro-degenerative diseases, osteoporosis, cancer and tuberculous meningitis.

In 2007 she graduated in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Sassari. They started their adventure in nanobiotechnology with an internship at University of L’Aquila (2008). From 2010 to 2012. She was post-graduate Research Assistant, in the Laboratory of Materials Science and Nanotechnologies led by Prof. P. Innocenzi working with nanomaterials with antioxidant property for biological applications. In 2016 they obtained a PhD in nanochemistry, nanomaterials and functional materials at University of Sassari under the supervision of Prof. L. Malfatti. In 2016 they were awarded a Marie Skłodowska Curie individual fellowship, with a project focused on Inorganic therapeutic nanoparticles for osteoporosis under the supervision of Prof. J.Jones (2016-2018). From 2018 to 2019 they were a postdoc at Imperial college working on fluorescent probes with exceptional brightness for early diagnosis of breast cancer under the supervision of Dr. Fang Xie.

During this time, they were also part of exchange projects at the University Hospital of Zurich, working on neurodegeneration in Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, and at CSIRO in Melbourne developing skills working on composite materials based on Metal Organic Frameworks and cerium oxide.

They have been a visiting researcher at University of Sassari.

Other webinars in the Molecular Level Understanding is Crucial for Targeted Drug Delivery in the Brain series

About The Institute for Molecular Science and Engineering

The Institute for Molecular Science and Engineering (IMSE) is one of Imperial College London’s Global Institutes, drawing on the strength of its four faculties to address some of the grand challenges facing the world today. The Institute’s activities are focused on tackling problems where molecular innovation plays an important role.

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