The Group

Tom McDonald

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Tom’s research is focused on the design of structure-property relationships in polymers and colloids. The two main themes of research in the group are: 1) the development of novel nanomedicines for drug delivery. 2) Investigating the changes that occur in plastics upon mechanical recycling. He has authored over 55 peer-reviewed publications and 2 book chapters and is a co-inventor on 4 patents. His research as PI has been supported by the EPSRC, NERC and Royal Society to a value of over £2.2m

PDRAs and RAs

Andy McLauchlin

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Graduating in Biochemistry and Soil Science in 1981, Andy began his career researching renewable and recycled materials at the BioComposites Centre, Bangor University where two of his research projects resulted in patents.  After completing his PhD in biopolymer nanocomposites in 2009 at Loughbrough University, Andy developed polymer nanocomposites for medical applications at Loughborough and novel flame retardant nanocomposites for the marine transport sector at Sheffield Hallam.  At the University of Exeter he developed online spectroscopy for plastics recycling applications, including injection moulding.  At the University of Liverpool, Andy is now delivering the research for the project “PCR-Understanding the Quality-Performance Link in Packaging”. 

PhD students

Cameron Hogarth


Cameron graduated with an upper class master’s degree in Chemistry with a Year in Industry from the University of Liverpool in 2019. He undertook his year in industry placement at Lubrizol (2017-2018) where he worked on polymer dispersants for paints and coatings formulations. Cameron joined the McDonlad group in 2018 during his final Masters year where he studied RAFT polymers for application in hydrogels. Cameron remained in the McDonald group when he started his PhD in nanomedicine for drug delivery by developing lipid nanoparticles and lipid drug conjugates

Sherrin Gotru


Sherrin graduated from Swansea University with a BSc Joint Honours in Biochemistry and Genetics and an MSC in Nanomedicine. in 2015. She then worked in clinical trial management before joining the University of Liverpool to start her PhD at the end of 2018. Sherrin’s PhD is jointly between the Eye & Vision Sciences (supervised by Victoria Kearns) and Chemistry. Her project is focussed on designing nanomedicines for the treatment of diseases at the back of the eye.

Will Jeffcott

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Will graduated from Durham University with a first class MMath degree in 2019. He then worked in insurance pricing for 2 years before coming back to academia in 2021. His project is co-funded by Unilever and the EPSRC Distributed Algorithms CDT and is looking into AI and machine learning methods for smart sustainable plastic packaging.


Mazrina Mazlan

Mazrina is a current PhD student working on polymer nanomedicine for drug delivery in the McDonald group (University of Liverpool, United Kingdom) since 2022. She graduated in Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry) and Master of Philosophy (Material Chemistry) from University of Malaya, Malaysia. During her Master’s study she was working on chemical modification of biopolymer. She is now continuing her passion for designing materials for medical applications.

Siyu Long

Siyu photo

Siyu graduated from Southwest Jiaotong University with Master of Engineering degree in 2022. During her degree, Siyu focused on the biodegradable hydrogel containing versatile nanoparticles for the treatment of human bone diseases. In the same year, Siyu joined the McDonald group and she is now working on designing nanoparticles as versatile carriers for the application of skin penetration.

Katie Ollerton

Katie registration pic

Katie graduated from the University of Liverpool with a First Class Master of Chemistry in 2022. During her 3rd year, she spent time in the Slater group, looking at the use of enabling technology for supramolecular chemistry and flow chemistry for nanoprecipitation of polymeric nanoparticles. She then joined the McDonald group for her 4th year project, investigating the synthesis of dual-responsive, degradable nanogels, for the application of in situ forming implants, which she later pursued further in a 4-week summer internship. Katie is now continuing her studies in the McDonald group; she started her PhD in October 2022, funded by Unilever, focussing on tuning the microstructure of deodorant products to control the benefit of active ingredients.

Past Group Members

Group photos

MChem and MSc students

Holly McManus (2022-2023)

Joe Bathe (2022-2023)

Ian Myring (2022) Also worked in the group as a research technician between Jan 23-Mar 23

Katie Ollerton (2021-2022)

Emily Cunliffe (2021-2022)

Oliver Reade (2021)

Mona Alharbi (2021)

Jacqui Everitt (2020-2021)

Omar Jaber (2020-2021)

Sarah Pitman (2020)

Luke Johnson (2020)

Mark Hunter (2019-2020)

Matt Diable (2019-2020)

Cameron Hogarth (2018-2019)

Harriet Pickup (2018-2019)

James Leonard (2018-2019)

Nicole Smith (2018)

Leanne Riley (2017-2018)

Abi Mills (2017-2018)

Chung Liu (2016-2017)

Rosie Beadle (2016-2017)

Gwilym Evans (2016-2017)

Jess Smith (2015-2016)

Mina Ragheb (2015-2016)

Craig Wilson (2014-2015)

3rd year students

Ollie Jacobs (2022)

Ellie Burrows (2022)

George Wilson (2020)

Kyle Scale (2019)

Sam Morris (2018)

Sarah Waldron (2017)

Imogen Wignall (2016)

Gwilym Evans (2016)

Jon Savory (2015)

Stephen Danks (2014)

Visiting students

Emily Cunliffe (Summer 2022)

Hannah Goh (Summer 2022)

Kyle Scale (Summer 2019)

Kritika Nayak (Autumn and Winter 2018)

Sam Morris (2018)

Sarah Waldron (Summer 2017)

Chung Liu (Summer 2016)

Sioned Fon Jones (Summer 2016)

Adam Hayes (Summer 2016)

Imogen Wignall (Summer 2015)

Andrew Maneffa (Summer 2015)

Guillaume Blancard (Summer 2015)

Quanling Zhang (Summer 2014)

Jessica Smith (Summer 2014)

Kristin Petersen (Spring 2014)