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Miss Nayab Fatima

Profile summary

Professional biography

Graduated with Bsc Honours in Biomedical Science and MSc in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering. Currently working as Ph.D. researcher to cure Brain degenerative Diseases by using nanotechnology and gene therapy at Open University, supervised by Prof. David Male.

Research interests

Interested in developing Gold nanoparticles to be used as a nanocarrier for drug delivery of oligonucleotides (as gene therapeutics) for Brain diseases such as Alzheimers, brain cancer, stroke & more.

Drug delivery to the central nervous system is challenging due to the inability of many drugs to cross the blood-brain barrier. Current approaches to overcome this problem disturb the blood-brain barrier, administer too low dose for therapeutic purposes or have serious side effects.One approach to overcome this problem is the use of gold nanoparticles as a delivery system.  Therefore, my further work involves optimizing ~ 2nm by attaching of oligonucleotide as a therapy cargo molecule onto the gold nanocarriers.

The experimental approach uses thiolated attached DNA oligonucleotide onto gold nanoparticles. Oligos are promising for Brain diseases because oligonucleotide-based therapeutics are becoming the third major drug development platform. They are mainly focused on CRISPR (Gene editing), RNA interference (RNAi, to reduce gene expression) as well as using antisense oligonucleotides (to silence a gene). The development relies on the fact that oligonucleotides based therapeutics can delay the disease onset or halt the disease progression through target gene knockdown, knockout or splicing modulation.

Teaching interests

MOOC facilitator for HISTOLOGY

Specialize in cell cultures (Primary, immortal, stem cells), 3D co cultures of blood-brain barrier models, Toxcity assays, Flow cytometery, Electron Microscopy, Gels (EMSA, ELISA, westernblotting), PCR and RT-PCR's, In vivo intracarotid and intravenous injections, Immunohistochemistry, histology, ultrmicrotome cutting, HPLC/FPLC, ICP-MS, microCTscan, electrospinning.

Fully IT trained, radiation trained, good laboraroty practice.

Impact and engagement

Attended conferences:

-IBBS and American associate society of pharmaceutical conference for novel approaches to target BBB in Washington DC.

- Blood Brain Barrier Symposium King College London (2016)

- Annual UK & Ireland Blood Brain Barrier Symposiums in Dublin  (2016), portsmouth (2017), Oxford (2018) and Milton Keynes (2019).

External collaborations

As Gold Nanoparticles are purchased from Midatech therefore, I closely interact with Midatech Pharma plc for my project and attend annual meetings and Shefield NHS trust.

Koc University in Istanbul 

Midatech pharma -  Bilbao and Spain


Gold nanocarriers for transport of oligonucleotides across brain endothelial cells (2020)
Fatima, Nayab; Gromnicova, Radka; Loughlin, Jane; Sharrack, Basil and Male, David
PLOS ONE, 15, Article e0236611(9)

Gold Nanocarriers To Deliver Oligonucleotides Into The CNS (2020-10-30)
Fatima, Nayab
PhD thesis The Open University