UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science


Responsive Oncotherapeutics Group

UCL Responsive Oncotherapeutics group is an important part of our Centre for Nanomedicine and Surgical Theranostics (CNS).

Group lead: Dr Nikolitsa Nomikou

Dr Nomikou

Associate Professor in Targeted Therapeutics

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Dr Nomikou’s research focuses on the development of translational drug delivery approaches based on formulations/carriers that are responsive to different forms of energy (electromagnetic fields, ultrasound), as well as responsive to the cancerous microenvironment. Her recently published and current funded research has demonstrated the potential of site-specific and minimally-invasive treatments based on low-intensity ultrasound and light, named as sonodynamic and photodynamic/photothermal therapy, respectively.  Dr Nomikou’s team aims to optimize these therapeutic modalities using nanotechnology for maximizing their potential in the clinic. Her research has been awarded funding from the UK Research Councils (EPSRC, MRC), the Royal Society, as well as UK-based cancer charities (e.g. Bowel & Cancer Research). Her research has also been supported with private donations.

Dr Nomikou’s teaching at UCL is focused on therapeutic modalities in the context of oncology.  She is the Programme Lead of the iBSc in Surgical Sciences and the Year 3 Lead of the BSc in Applied Medical Sciences. She also delivers teaching for the MSc in Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine.

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Group Members

Ms Maryam Mohammad Hadi

Maryam Hadi

PhD student (April 2017-present)

Research Assistant (April 2017- January 2020), on projects funded by EPSRC (EP/P020828/1) and the UCL Therapeutic Acceleration Support fund (sponsored by MRC / Wellcome Trust / UCLH, GOSH, and Moorfields BRC)

Research projects: The development of novel and multistimulus-responsive polyglutamate-based nanoparticles carrying sensitizing agents, aiming to optimize sonodynamic therapy for the treatment of prostate and pancreatic cancer.

Mr Shiv Patel

Shiv Patel

PhD student (September 2017-present), on studentship funded by EPSRC DTP (EP/N509577/1)

Research project: The development of tumour-responsive nanoparticles for the combined intraoperative near infra-red imaging and treatment of pancreatic cancer

Dr Fabiola Sciscione

Fabiola Sciscione

Research Associate (September 2018-present), on project funded by EPSRC (EP/R035008/1)

Research project: The development of tumour-responsive nanoparticles for the combined intraoperative near infra-red imaging and treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Mr Hamzah Masood

Hamzah Masood

PhD Student (October 2019-present), on studentship funded by EPSRC DTP (EP/R513143/1)

Research project: Investigating the secondary effects of sonodynamic therapy, such as the inhibition of metastatic progression, in the treatment of prostate cancer.

Dr Ilona Kubajewska

Dr Ilona Kubajewska

Research Associate (October 2019-present), on project funded by the Bowel & Cancer Research, as well as a private donation

Research project: Evaluating and optimizing sonodynamic therapy for the treatment of advanced colorectal cancer.

Mr Ed Duffy

Ed Duffy

Visiting Researcher (February 2019-present)

Research project: Investigating the apoptotic effect of RGD peptide and its potential synergy with matrix metalloproteinases, for the treatment of metastatic cancer.

Dr Daniel Houser (also in Professor MacRobert’s Research Group)

Daniel Houser

Research Fellow, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation

Research project: Developing a light-responsive pharmaceutical formulation for the photothermal treatment of lung cancer.