Sarah Sulaiman

PhD Student

Precision Imaging Beacon


Sarah's project aims to bridge pharmaceutical sciences and imaging to provide completely new insights into the colonic environment by using pioneering MRI techniques in their birthplace.


Why did you apply?

Achieving a PhD from the University of Nottingham with its cross-faculty environment, entrepreneurial and innovative spirit is the best way to set the basis for pursuing a promising career in research. 

As the home of MRΙ, Nottingham holds a world-leading role in imaging research

I was also attracted by the Precision Imaging Beacon themes of metabolic and physiological imaging and effective translation, with aspects of prediction, mechanism evaluation and guidance for personalized therapy. With state-of-the-art facilities, there are amazing opportunities for multidisciplinary collaborations. 

Research summary

My main scientific interest concerns gastrointestinal physiology combined with its interaction with the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic profiles of drugs in their oral formulations. Lately, colonic environment in particular has raised scientific attention, because it is a rather unexplored area with great potential for drug delivery. MRI techniques provide the most suitable way to non-invasively investigate the hard-to-reach colonic environment and offer a complete insight into colonic drug delivery. 

I will be investigating the behavior of the colonic environment and its impact on drug bioavailability after the administration of different active pharmaceutical ingredients using up-to-date MRI techniques, in vitro tools and computational programs. 

I strongly believe that human colonic physiology is an interesting, under-researched and complex field. Investigating the impact of the colonic environment on the bioavailability of drugs in oral dosage forms is intriguing and could lead to understanding the processes that drugs undergo during their colonic transit and absorption. The research into this interaction generates new aspects of targeted drug delivery, which is particularly important for emerging applications for controlled release and locally acting drugs. 

My research contributes to the conversion of in vivo data into in vitro techniques. In turn, this is going to have an impact on easier and less cost-effective evaluations of drug bioavailability, so that an enhanced therapeutic effect can be achieved. This enhanced outcome is going to raise patient compliance and therefore their satisfaction, while also reducing health costs.  

I am honored to be a PhD student within one of the University’s Beacons of Excellence. 

The Precision Imaging Beacon has a leading role in bioimaging world-wide and offers innovative approaches towards chronic diseases and personalised care

The community offers the facilities and the experience to support the up-to-date application of MRI techniques and therefore my research. I am confident that working in this environment and interacting with this community of researchers will be a very inspiring and beneficial experience. 

Working on MRI applications on gastrointestinal research combined with drug delivery is novel and will be pivotal to achieving my ultimate academic career goal. I feel confident that working on this field will help me to acquire important research experience. I am also motivated to expand my knowledge of this field, learn about MRI and image analysis and combine these new skills with laboratory and computational techniques. I also look forward to interacting with my new colleagues across campuses and to making new friends!

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