School of Pharmacy

Image of Oran Maguire

Oran Maguire

Postgraduate Research Student,



Oran initially graduated in 2014 with a BSc (Hons) in Human Sciences at UCL, through which he focused on neurosciences and neuropharmacology, submitting a thesis on Parkinson's Disease which awoke him to the challenges of drug delivery. Through his involvement UCL's iGEM 2013 and 2014 teams, he became interested in biotechnology and methods for science communication.

Over subsequent years he worked as a Science Illustrator, Technical Writer / Consultant, and Mandarin Translator for various clients concurrently, chiefly Avectas Life Sciences (Maynooth NUI, Dublin), COMPlog Vision Measurement Systems (St Thomas' Hospital, London), and as arts editor and webmaster for Bluesci Magazine (Cambridge University).

He returned to UCL in September 2017 to carry out his MSc in Nanotechnology and Regenerative medicine at the UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Sciences. Under the supervision of Dr Gavin Jell and Medina Guliyeva, he submitted a thesis investigating the effects of citrate-capped gold nanoparticle morphology on serum corona stability, and the effects of serum type on cell uptake. He presented some of these findings at the British Society of Nanomedicine Conference in August 2018.

He joined the 2018 cohort of the CDT in September 2018, and is due to carry out a 3 month introductory project investigating a liposomal antibiotic delivery system targeted towards gram negative bacteria, followed by a three month industrial training project investigating the relationship between polysorbates and the slouging of silicone oil on the inner lumen of biopharmaceutical preparations.

He has initiated his PhD project in the use of machine learning techniques to rationalise the suppression of self-assembly in small molecule drugs.

Expertise Summary

Soft matter characterisation (Fluorimetry, Rheology, DLS, SAXS/SANS)

Chemoinformatics techniques (Rdkit, Deepchem, advanced pubchem API use)

Parrallel coupling synthesis techniques, TLC, NMR

Computational techniques for general data analysis and management (Python / SQL / Unix)

Small angle scattering analysis (SASview, Mantid)

Research Summary

(May 2019 - Sep 2022) PhD research. Proposed title: To gel or not to gel - Predictive tools enabling effective formulation design and delivery of small, non-peptide based drugs with gelation… read more

Current Research

(May 2019 - Sep 2022) PhD research. Proposed title: To gel or not to gel - Predictive tools enabling effective formulation design and delivery of small, non-peptide based drugs with gelation suppressing excipients. Primary Supervisor: Dr Mischa Zelzer (UoN) Secondary Supervisors: Dr Maria Marlow and Dr Jamie Twycross (UoN) Industrial Supervisor: James Humpery (Croda) Non-chemically linked hydrogels are ubiquitous in our food, our bodies, and the environment, yet its underlying mechanics are poorly understood, with almost all known hydrogelator structures being variants of a serendipitous discovery. In pharmaceutical science, such self-assembly can be as a desirable form of encapsulation that can enable sustained release, yet the supramolecular self-assembly of promising low molecular weight drugs can prove an unpredictable, highly costly, and oftentimes intractable problem during pharmaceutical research and development. We aim to address this problem by developing machine learning techniques that help rationalise the supression of gelation in low molecular weight drug preparations. It will nescessitate building a library of hydrogelator - excipient pairings, alongside the development and validation of high-throughput gelation detection methods which befit a machine learning approach.

Past Research

(2015 - St Thomas' Hospital Ophthalmology Department) Analysis of test-retest variability of visual acuity measurements in a proof of concept study for the COMPlog vision measurement system under the supervision of Dr Alistair Laidlaw.

(Feb - Aug 2018 - UCL DSIS Royal Free Hospital) Investigated how serum type and nanoparticle aspect ratio affect protein corona stability and cell uptake of gold nanoparticles. Concurrently developed a model for estimating the surface curvature of elliptical, hyperelliptical and rod shaped nanoparticles.

(Oct - Jan 2018) Liposomal antibiotic delivery system targeted towards gram negative bacteria, producing liposomes under the supervision of Dr Rosa Catalina and Dr Snow Stolnik.

(Jan - Apr 2019) Industry Training Project Placement at Croda Europe's Cowick Hall HQ, near Snaith East Yorkshire. Project entitled: Evaluation of novel biopharmaceutical formulations on the removal of silicone-oil from pre-siliconised syringes. Research carried out under the supervision of Dr William Small (Croda).

School of Pharmacy

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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