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Personal profile


I am currently an Australian Research Council Future Fellow in the Drug Delivery, Disposition and Dynamics Theme at Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Prior to my current role I held appointments as Dean of Residents, New College Village UNSW, and as a Technical Assistant at a major Australian firm of patent and trade mark attorneys. My initial scientific training was conducted at UNSW in the discipline of Industrial Chemistry, and I obtained my PhD from the same university in 2003. I then conducted postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Prof. Frank Caruso at the University of Melbourne (2003-2004), and was an Australian Postdoctoral Fellow in the same group from 2005-2007.

Research interests

The rational design of new materials promises to create exciting new opportunities for pharmaceutical science. In particular, the development of new excipients that can potentially offset the side-effects and disadvantages of underutilized drugs offers obvious benefits for the health sciences. My research is focused in this area and can be broadly categorized into (i) materials capable of augmenting / interrupting cell signalling pathways; (ii) new methodologies for functionalising biomolecules with polymers; and (iii) new materials for improving the oral delivery of poorly water soluble drugs. To achieve these goals I employ polymer synthesis techniques such as reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization and Cu(0)-mediated living radical polymerization. I also employ analytical techniques from surface chemistry such as quartz crystal microgravimetry (QCM) to probe the interactions between specifically designed polymers and biomolecules. 

Community service

I currently serve as the secretary of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute's Victorian Polymer Group and co-convene the annual PolymerVic symposium. 

Research area keywords

  • Nanomaterials
  • Nanomedicine
  • Polymer Chemistry
  • Self-assembly
  • Surface modification
  • Biomaterials
  • Drug delivery
  • Colloids and interfaces

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Projects 2017 2021

Research Output 2001 2019

An optimised Cu(0)-RDRP approach for the synthesis of lipidated oligomeric vinyl azlactone: toward a versatile antimicrobial materials screening platform

Grace, J. L., Amado, M., Reid, J. C., Elliott, A. G., Landersdorfer, C. B., Truong, N. P., Kempe, K., Cooper, M. A., Davis, T. P., Montembault, V., Pascual, S., Fontaine, L., Velkov, T., Quinn, J. F. & Whittaker, M. R., 21 Nov 2019, In : Journal of Materials Chemistry B. 7, 43, p. 6796-6809 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

A pH-responsive nanoparticle targets the neurokinin 1 receptor in endosomes to prevent chronic pain

Ramirez Garcia, P. D., Retamal, J. S., Shenoy, P., Imlach, W., Sykes, M., Truong, N., Constandil, L., Pelissier, T., Nowell, C. J., Khor, S. Y., Layani, L. M., Lumb, C., Poole, D. P., Lieu, T., Stewart, G. D., Mai, Q. N., Jensen, D. D., Latorre, R., Scheff, N. N., Schmidt, B. L. & 5 others, Quinn, J. F., Whittaker, M. R., Veldhuis, N. A., Davis, T. P. & Bunnett, N. W., Dec 2019, In : Nature Nanotechnology. 14, p. 1150-1159 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Controlling Nanomaterial Size and Shape for Biomedical Applications via Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly

Khor, S. Y., Quinn, J. F., Whittaker, M. R., Truong, N. P. & Davis, T. P., Jan 2019, In : Macromolecular Rapid Communications. 40, 2, 22 p., 1800438.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Development of a Shape-Controlled H2S Delivery System Using Epoxide-Functional Nanoparticles

Yu, S. H., Esser, L., Khor, S. Y., Senyschyn, D., Veldhuis, N. A., Whittaker, M. R., Ercole, F., Davis, T. P. & Quinn, J. F., 2019, In : Journal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry. 57, 18, p. 1982–1993 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Intra-articular Treatment of Osteoarthritis with Diclofenac-Conjugated Polymer Reduces Inflammation and Pain

Sulistio, A., Mansfeld, F. M., Reyes-Ortega, F., D'Souza, A. M., Ng, S. M. Y., Birkett, S., Blencowe, A., Qiao, G. G., Little, C. B., Shu, C. C., Bendele, A. M., Valade, D., Donohue, A. C., Quinn, J. F., Whittaker, M. R., Davis, T. P. & Tait, R. J., 24 May 2019, In : ACS Applied Bio Materials. 2, 7, p. 2822-2832 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review