Jacky Pallas Memorial Award
13 Nov 2019





Earlier this year we lost an incredibly important member of the CIUK Scientific Advisory Committee with the sudden and unexpected passing of Jacky Pallas at the age of just 54. Jacky was head of e-Research at King's College London and for the last three years had been an active and vocal member of the CIUK SAC, helping to shape the direction our event has taken and pushing through many positive changes, whilst championing diversity and the inclusion of young researchers. In her memory, and in recognition of her passion for our conference, we have decided to introduce an annual award that will highlight the work of an early career researcher and will allow the award winner a slot in the main programme at CIUK.

We received a number of nominations for this award and after lengthy deliberation; we are delighted to introduce the winner of the inaugural Jacky Pallas Memorial Award - Demi Pink from King's College London...

Demi Pink.jpg

Demi is a PhD student in the Department of Physics at King’s College London. Whilst she studied for her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of Leicester, she received the OUP Achievement in Chemistry Prize before graduating with 1st Class Honours. Following this, she joined the BBSRC funded London Interdisciplinary Doctoral Training Program where she undertook rotation projects in cell biology and biophysics before beginning her PhD under the supervision of Dr Chris Lorenz and Prof. Jayne Lawrence. Her work uses molecular dynamics simulations and small angle neutron scattering to investigate the self-assembly of lipid-based drug delivery vehicles and their encapsulation of small hydrophobic drug molecules.

Demi will present "On the Structure of Lipid-Based Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery" on Friday 6 December at 10:30.

Abstract: Solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) have a crystalline lipid core which is stabilised in solution by interfacial surfactants. They are considered favourable candidates for future drug delivery vehicles as they are capable of storing and release bioactive molecules. However, when stored over time it is thought that the lipids undergo polymorphic transitions which result in the premature expulsion of the drug molecules. To date, significant experimental studies have been conducted with the aim of investigating the physicochemical properties of SLNs, including their long-term stability, but as-of-yet, no molecular scale investigations have been reported on the behaviours that drive SLN formation and their subsequent polymorphic transitions. Using a combination of small angle neutron scattering (SANS) and all-atom molecular dynamics simulations (MD) we have generated a detailed, atomistic description of the internal structure of an SLN formed from the triglyceride, tripalmitin, and the Brij O10 surfactant. In addition to studying the SLN, we have performed further experiments and molecular-dynamic simulations on the formation of a triolein-based liquid lipid nanoparticle (LLN) which is stabilised by the same Brij O10 surfactant. LLNs are, like SLNs, of interest for their potential applications in drug delivery. This has allowed us to characterise the structure of the LLN in a similar manner to the SLN and to compare the two contrasting nanostructures in order to better understand the relationship between a nanoparticle’s internal structure and its role in drug delivery. As well as studying the structure and formation of the nanoparticles, we have characterised and compared the processes involved in the encapsulation and localisation of the steroidal drug, testosterone propionate, by both the SLN and the LLN.

Contact: Computing Insight UK