Group Members:

Cardiff University, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences:

Ben Newland – Developing new materials for applications in brain cancer and neurodegenerative disorders.

Post-Doctoral Researchers

Sophie Hill – Developing new affinity-based drug delivery systems for local drug and protein delivery to the brain.


PhD Students

Pakiza Mammadsalahova – Creating cryogel scaffolds that can sequester key tumour promoting proteins from the tumour microenvironment to inhibit recurrence.


Sabarni Sarker – Creating a modular drug delivery system for repurposing therapeutics for brain cancers.


Ghadah Alghaith – Developing locally implantable adjuvant delivery systems to augment immunotherapies for glioblastoma.


Yu Wang – Developing drug delivery systems for implantation into the resection cavity to allow repurposing of existing drugs to combat glioblastoma.


Abrar Hakami – Synthesising heparin-mimicking biomaterials for growth factor delivery to the brain (co-supervised by Dr. Emma Lane)


Group Photographs

Group of scientists at the Newland Research Group, Cardiff University

2024 – a group dinner overlooking Cardiff Bay to welcome Sophie Hill to the group.

June 2020 – with Wales in “lock-down” our lab meetings continued across continents.
Group of researchers

February 2019 – Filippo’s return visit to Cardiff, together with Carmine joining the group, prompted an excuse for a curry together!

Group of scientists at the Newland Research Group, Cardiff University

October 2018 – Postgraduate welcome day. Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Sebastiano, Dimitri, Ben, Filippo and Majed

Group of researchers, Dresden, Germany

Summer 2016 on the roof of the IPF in Dresden

The “last supper” (2015) for the group before Francesca departed for Italy and Johannes finished his undergraduate degree.

Past Members

Dr. Sebastiano Rizzo (2023) – Developing materials to support cell transplantation to the brain. A PhD student who stayed for more punishment as a Post-Doc!

Majed Alghamdi (2022) – Oxygen producing materials for enhancing radiotherapy for glioblastoma. PhD student

Dr. Oly Bartley (2021) – (working part time with the Brain Repair Group). Investigating oxygen-glucose deprivation in neuron progenitor cells. Post-Doc.

Dimitri Eigel (2021) – Designing focal delivery systems for use in the brain (funded via the Deutsche Forshungsgemeinschaft). PhD student.

Dr. Carmine Varricchio (2021) – Developing novel therapeutic compounds for mitochondrial optic neuropathies. Post-Doc.

Rachel Hills (2017) – Research technician Funded by Parkinson’s UK to analyze biohybrid microcarriers for cell delivery

Franziska Hoppe (2017) – Cryogel microcarriers for the culture of neural precursor cells. Master’s thesis.

Christian Taplan (2017) – Polymer nanotubes for drug delivery. Master’s Thesis, also published in Nanoscale in 2018.

Marcel Baeger (2017) – Oxygen producing hydrogels. Marcel completed his batchelor thesis which was published in ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering in 2017.

Yvonne Körner (2017) Shape memory cryogel microcarriers for anti-glioblastoma applications. Batchelor Thesis.

Simão Teixeira (2016) – Developing an in vitro model of Parkinson’s Disease for testing growth factor delivery systems. ERASMUS student

Laurent Thomas (2016) – Synthesis and characterization of polymer nanotubes – Internship from the University of Strasbourg, top guy and top student. In 2016 he returned to Strasbourg to complete his Master’s course. His work was published in Scientific Reports in 2016.

Francesca Lorenzi (2015) – Preparation of elongated shape memory scaffolds for neurotrophic delivery. Francesca completed her Master’s thesis with us, in collaboration with Dr Silvia Gross at the University of Padova. An excellent thesis during which she made template synthesized cryogels, work that we need to finish off.

Petr Kolář (2015) – In vitro analysis of different cell delivery platforms. Petr finished his Master’s thesis with excellent grades, and his work can be seen in Small, with more yet to be written up!

Paul Wolff (2015) – Developing ROS scavenging materials – Master’s completed with top grades, and went on to TU Munich for a PhD! 2015. Paul’s work is published in Biomaterials Science and it was recognised for the cover issue image.

Daniel Leupelt (2015) – visiting Master’s student from the Universität Osnabrück, as part of a collaboration with Prof. Martin Steinhart to develop methods for filling polymer nanotubes, 2015. We finally published the work in Scientific Reports in 2016.

Johannes Starke (2015) – Microscale hydrogels for controlled doxorubicin delivery, bachelor completed with top grades and certificate of outstanding academic achievement, 2015 .

Jochen Krattenmacher (2014) – Project as part of his Master’s course, analysing the toxicity of the polymer nanotubes developed in our group.


Some of the project collaborators, colleagues or previous people I have published with, with a general idea of the work we are doing:

Prof. Anna Williams. University of Edinburgh. Biomaterials for creating focal demyelination in brain slice cultures.

Dr. Katie Long. Kings College London. Biomaterial tools for focal delivery to brain explant culture.

Prof. Anne Rosser. Cardiff University. Cell transplantation to the brain.

Dr. Philipp Seib. University of Strathclyde. Focal drug delivery to breast cancer.

Dr. Wenxin Wang. University College Dublin (UCD). Wenxin continues to help and guide me with my work and projects. We collaborate closely with all matters related to polymer synthesis and characterization for many of my projects.

Prof. Martin Steinhart. Universität Osnabrück. Synthesis of polymer nanotubes.

Dr. Eilís Dowd. NUI Galway. Previous PhD co-supervisor and current co author of a review we wrote together.

Dr Leo Breydo. University of South Florida. The interaction of hyperbranched polymers with α-synuclein.

Internships/Master Projects

If you are interested in completing your Master’s thesis in one of my current research areas please get in contact.

Looking for a PhD Position?

We have an open position for a self-funded PhD student. Please see the advert. If you would like to apply please get in touch (

Lastly, please get in touch if you have ideas or would like to form a collaboration.