Dr Nathalie Lavignac
Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology
Dr Nathalie Lavignac graduated from Bordeaux I University (France) in 1996 and discovered her interest for Drug Delivery Systems during her Master research project. She then worked for Biovector Therapeutics a biotechnology laboratory that developed non-viral vectors for the delivery of antigens. In 1998, Nathalie moved to the United Kingdom and completed her PhD in 2002 on molecularly imprinted polymers at Cardiff University, Welsh School of Pharmacy. After her PhD, she joined ML Laboratories (previously Cobra Therapeutics), a pharmaceutical company in Keele (UK), where she worked in the field of non-viral gene delivery. In 2003, Nathalie returned to The Welsh School of Pharmacy in the Centre for Polymer Therapeutics and developed polymers for the delivery of biomacromolecules. She then moved back to France and worked at the CNRS in Paris, developing conducting polymers. In October 2006, Nathalie was appointed as a lecturer in Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology at the Medway School of Pharmacy.
Dr Lavignac research interests focus on the development of polymeric and peptidic nanocarriers to deliver drugs and macromolecular drugs acting on an intracellular therapeutic target. This requires adopting a multidisciplinary approach to project management and involves working at the interface of chemistry and biology, often considering any potential translational applications. Currently she's focusing on three different clinical areas: bacterial infections, oncology, and immunology. A project will start with the synthesis and the physicochemical characterisation of a synthetic vector, polymer and/or peptide-based, which will be further used to promote the cellular delivery of selected drugs or biomacromolecules (e.g. proteins, DNA, siRNA). Using appropriate model cell lines, the group will assess the safety and capacity of these carriers to deliver the therapeutic agents using a non-targeted or targeted (i.e. cell specific) approach. The following stage involves understanding the mechanism of action and intracellular trafficking of these nanocarriers and correlate their physicochemical properties with their biological activity, with the objective to design and develop new polymeric and peptidic vectors with improved efficiency. Received Funding Kent Cancer Trust Medway School of Pharmacy University of Kent