Personal profile


Research Statement: Dr Whittaker is expert in advanced polymerisation techniques and the synthesis / modification / characterisation of functional soft and hard matter. In his research career he has demonstrated the use of these materials to form functional and smart polymer materials and hybrid organic/inorganic nanoparticles with precise architectures and properties. As well as providing fundamental insights and new methods for materials synthesis, his transdisciplinary research has focused on using these functional materials as building blocks for advanced functional nano/materials used in a range of high-end technologies: precision nanomedicines (therapeutic drug, DNA, RNA delivery: and clinical imaging), bio-coatings and environmental remediation.

Professional Experience: After spending a number of years in industry he received his Ph-D in polymer chemistry in 2000 from the University of Queensland for work investigating the molecular dynamics and diffusion within hydrogel polymer networks using advanced solid state NMR techniques.

In 2001 he joined Bio-Layer Pty Ltd as a Senior Research Scientist where he developed new methods for the modification, synthesis and self-assembly of polymer interfaces to preferentially orientate antibodies. During this period of industry employment he also held an adjunct lecturer position within the University of New South Wales. In 2004, he joined the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN: as Research Fellow. From 2008 until May 2013 he served as the Research Manager, and Senior Research Fellow, for both the Centre of Advanced Macromolecular Design (CAMD: and the Australian Centre for Nanomedicine (ACN:, University of New South Wales.

Currently he is Senior Research Fellow within the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, a visiting academic at University of Warwick (UK) and visiting Professor with the group of Prof. Laurent Fontaine, University du Maine (France).


 Founding Chair of the somewhat successful PolymerVic symposium series.

Related Links:

Research interests

Current research interests also include:

1. Toxicology of nanoparticles,
2. Synthesis of 'smart' hybrid inorganic/organic nanomaterials,
3. Application of advanced polymer materials in environmental (soil/water) remediation,
4. Applications of advanced polymer materials in theranostic nanomedicine.

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 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Research area keywords

  • Drug Delivery
  • Imaging
  • Nano-Materials
  • Nanomedicine
  • Nanotechnology
  • Nanotoxicology
  • Polymeric Materials

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