Research activity per year

Personal profile


Khay joined the School of Chemistry in 2023 as Course Coordinator for the Masters in Green Chemistry and Sustainable Technology.

She completed her PhD (Pharmacy) at Monash University in 2013 and subsequently awarded a highly competitive Victorian Postdoctoral Research Fellowship which took her to ETH Zurich, Switzerland (2014-15) and back to Monash (2016). She was the first recipient of the National Center of Competence in Research in Bio-Inspired Materials Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for Women at the Adolphe Merkle Institute, Université de Fribourg, Switzerland (2017-18). Khay was appointed Lecturer in Chemistry in the School of Environmental and Life Sciences, College of Engineering, Science and Environment, at the University of Newcastle (2019-2023).

Khay is a director of the Australian Chapter of the Controlled Release Society, AusCRS.

Research interests

On-demand drug delivery

The overarching aim of Khay’s research is to develop a platform nanotechnology that can be used in the creation of better medicines and diagnostic tools. These soft materials are based on manipulating the self-assembly of amphiphilic lipids. Khay’s research adds an extra element of control where she has created nanomaterials that can be selectively turned on – by heat, laser light, a change in pH and digestion – on demand. Her research also investigates how the body’s native biomolecules and microbiome change the intended fate of nanoparticles on the nanoscale.

Environmental microplastics

Together with Swiss NGO, Sail and explore association, Khay leads citizen science and student research projects to highlight how small the big microplastic problem is in our oceans in Australia and the Pacific.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Research area keywords

  • diffusion
  • materials science
  • drug delivery
  • emulsification
  • liposomes
  • transmission electron microscopy
  • light-responsive
  • photochromic
  • photophysical behavior
  • physicochemical property
  • Synchrotron
  • liquid crystal
  • cubic phase
  • hexagonal phase
  • Supramolecular chemistry (self-assembly)
  • Pharmaceutics
  • colloids
  • cryo-tem
  • Microbiome
  • microplastic
  • Marine Environment
  • lipids
  • nanomedicine

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or