New research to improve use of amphiphilic drug molecules
By exploring the aggregation properties of different amphiphilic molecules in microgels, Yassir Al-Tikriti, PhD student at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, aims to provide tools and knowledge of importance for future cancer therapies and antidepressants.
Yassir Al-Tikriti, alumnus of Baghdad University with a Master's degree in pharmaceutical science from Uppsala University, joined the Faculty of Pharmacy and national competence center SweDeliver with an aim to develop novel carriers for amphiphilic drug molecules, an important group of active substances commonly used in cancer therapy, as antidepressants and antihypertensive agents.
“Amphiphilic molecules have properties in common with regular micelle-forming surfactants, but we lack sufficient knowledge about the relationships between their molecular structure and self-assembling properties. In my research I’m exploring the potential of polyelectrolyte microgels as carriers of amphiphilic drugs and the principles governing the drug loading and release properties,” says Yassir Al-Tikriti.
Previous to his position at SweDeliver, Yassir Al-Tikriti worked at a pharmacy, gaining practical experience and important perspectives on the relationship between the patients and the drugs. Still, when opportunity knocked to combine laboratory experiments with the design of theoretical models, Yassir realized the time was right to return to academia.
“SweDeliver is effectively bridging the gap between the university and the industry, thus providing both scientific vitality and a platform to discuss professional challenges with specialists from different areas of the pharmaceutical fields. You know, operating in an environment so fundamentally characterised by generosity adds many values, you can always count on helpful tips and appreciated feedback.”
Currently, Yassir Al-Tikriti is using a small-angle X-ray scattering technique to study the aggregation properties of different amphiphilic molecules in microgel delivery systems. In the foreseeable future he aim to turn his findings into new release models of importance to the development of novel drug delivery systems.
“At the moment my mind is set on providing new knowledge regarding the release profile of amphiphilic molecules. Beyond that, my own professional future is unwritten, but being a part of SweDeliver is definitely opening a wide range of opportunities. Who knows, maybe I will pursue an academic career, perhaps I’ll try my luck in the pharmaceutical industry? Let´s see what happens!
RESEARCHER BIO YASSIR AL-TIKRITI
PhD student Yassir Al-Tikriti is a pharmacist with a B.Sc. degree in pharmacy from Baghdad University. In 2012, Yassir earned a Master's degree in pharmaceutical science from Uppsala University, specialising in Drug discovery and development.
SweDeliver is a national competence center in drug delivery. With Uppsala University's Faculty of Pharmacy as the academic hub and 16 industrial partners, SweDeliver conducts research on parenteral, oral and pulmonary administration.
Yassir Al-Tikriti, PhD student
Department of Medicinal Chemistry
text: Magnus Alsne, photo: Mikael Wallerstedt
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