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Adrian Williams

  • +44 (0) 118 378 6196
  • Dean of Postgraduate Research Studies and Researcher Development

Professor in Pharmaceutics

Postgraduate supervision

Current research group members:

Sitthiphong Soradech

Manfei Fu

Claudia Aguguo

Brendan Brady

Myrale Habel

Ben Kersch-Hunt


Transdermal and topical drug delivery projects research formulation, bioavailability and distribution of topically applied medicaments. We have developed targeted delivery systems which release drugs in response to biological stimuli, in particular to exploit the changed physiology in many skin diseases (e.g. enzymes or pH) to trigger drug release at the specific diseased sites. Further research projects are exploring the penetration of large macromolecules into and through human skin and the use of polymeric carrier systems to retain drugs within the tissue. Other recent projects have investigated strategies to increase drug delivery to and through the skin using, for example, penetration enhancers, supersaturated systems or colloidal carriers.

Skin repair projects use cellular markers to study the migration, differentiation and proliferation of skin cells and to understand the impact of oxygen treatment or infections on the wound healing process. To manage and alleviate dry skin conditions, we have synthesised, characterised, evaluated and patented a series of novel compounds which act as moisturisers and have developed these into peptides for long term efficacy. Point of care diagnostics for skin conditions have been developed using microneedle arrays, which are able to penetrate the outer barrier layer of human skin without reaching the lower pain receptors, and have been used to capture and analyse disease specific antibodies from the tissue.

Nano-particulate diffusion projects develop nano-scale drug delivery systems for application to skin, but also to other biological membranes including the eye and mucosal surfaces. Current projects explore diffusion of nano-particulate systems in biological gels (such as mucus) and develop polymer-based mucoadhesive formulations to improve the residence time of drugs at biological membranes. Polymers are also used in designing and constructing ultrathin layer-by-layer deposited coatings to provide pH responsive control over drug dissolution within the GI tract.

Selected publications

Authored book:

Benson, H.A.E., Roberts, M.S., Williams, A.C. and Liang, X. (Eds.) “Fundamentals of Drug Delivery”, Wiley, 2021.
Brown, M.B. and Williams, A.C. “The Art and Science of Dermal Formulation Development”.  CRC Press, Boca Raton, USA.  2019. 
Williams, A.C. “Transdermal and Topical Drug Delivery; from theory to clinical practice”. Pharmaceutical Press, London. 2003.

ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3654-7916


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