Dr Christine Dufès

Reader

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

Personal statement

Dr Christine Dufès is a Reader (Associate Professor) in Nanomedicine and Director of the Postgraduate School at the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS). She teaches on the Master of Pharmacy and on various MSc postgraduate degrees.

Christine obtained a Doctorate in Pharmacy (with Distinction and congratulations of the Jury, 1997) and a PhD (with a European Label, Distinction and congratulations of the Jury, 2002) from the University of Poitiers (France). After four years as a post-doctoral researcher at the Cancer Research UK Beatson Laboratories in Glasgow, she was appointed as a Lecturer at SIPBS in 2006, obtained fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2007, became a Senior Lecturer in 2012 and a Reader in 2019.

Her research focuses on the development of targeted drug- and gene-based nanomedicines for cancer therapy and brain delivery. It resulted in 2 patents, 50 publications in high-impact journals such as Biomaterials and Journal of Controlled Release, 4 book chapters and attracted 3400+ citations (h-index:  27 (Google scholar)). Christine has attracted over £2M in research funding. All her PhD students (from diverse backgrounds) submitted their theses within the imparted time and are now further developing their careers in either Academia or Industry.

Christine has been awarded the Bourse d’Excellence Lavoisier (2002), the Award of the 9th Annual Symposium of the United Kingdom and Ireland Controlled Release Society (2003), the Biochemical Journal Young Investigator Award (2009), the Tom Gibson Memorial Award (2012) and the Scientist Medal of the International Association of Advanced Materials (2021) for her research. She also received the “Best Overall” Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Award (2013) for her teaching, was nominated 8 times since 2013 and was shortlisted in the category “Best in Faculty of Science” in 2015 and in 2018. She was the only staff member from her department to be nominated for a Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Award by the students in 2020. 

She is a Trustee of the British Society of Nanomedicine, Senior Editor of Journal of Interdisciplinary Nanomedicine, Editorial Advisory Board member of Biomaterials Science, Review Editor of Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology – Nanobiotechnology, and member of the Editorial Boards of 6 journals (Journal of Liposome ResearchJournal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Journal of Nanotechnology: Nanomedicine & Nanobiotechnology, Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology, Pharmaceutics and Scientia Pharmaceutica).

Her research highlights include:

DNA-based nanomedicines (cancer therapy):

  • Tumour regression/disappearance after intravenous administration of a novel tumour-targeted dendriplex encoding Tumour Necrosis Factor (TNFα), with complete disappearance of 90% of the tumours and regression of the remaining ones
  • Regression/disappearance of prostate tumours after intravenous administration of a novel tumour-targeted polypropylenimine dendrimer combined with either TNFα, TRAIL and IL-12 expression plasmids, with complete disappearance of up to 70% of PC-3 tumours and up to 50% of DU145 tumours. It is the first time that gene therapy was shown to be efficacious for the treatment of prostate cancer in laboratory settings (doctoral work of Dr Majed Al Robaian and Dr Najla Altwaijry).
  • Tumour regression/disappearance after intravenous administration of a novel tumour-targeted dendriplex encoding p73, with complete disappearance of 10% of the tested tumours and long-term survival of the animals. It is the first time that a tumour-targeted p73 could lead to tumour suppression after intravenous administration.

 

DNA-based nanomedicines (brain delivery):

  • Increase of gene expression in the brain followingintravenous injection of transferrin-bearing dendriplex (at least twice higher than that of the unmodified dendriplex), while decreasing the non-specific gene expression in the lung. Gene expression was at least 3-fold higher in the brain than in any tested peripheral organs (doctoral work of Dr Sukrut Somani).
  • Increase of gene expression in the brain following intravenous injection of lactoferrin-bearing dendriplex (by more than 6.4-fold compared to that of the unmodified dendriplex), while decreasing the non-specific gene expression in the lung and the kidneys. Gene expression was significantly higher in the brain than in any other tested peripheral organs. The administered gene was expressed in the hippocampus, which plays an important role in consolidating information from short-term memory into long-term memory. It is a primary site for Alzheimer's pathology, which makes gene expression in this brain area particularly interesting for future therapeutic developments (doctoral work of Dr Sukrut Somani).

 

Drug-based nanomedicines (cancer therapy): 

  • Tumour regression/disappearance after intravenous administration of the vitamin E extract tocotrienol entrapped in novel tumour-targeted vesicles, with complete disappearance of 40% of the melanoma tumours. It is the first time that a tocotrienol formulation can lead to tumour suppression (doctoral work of Dr Ju Yen Fu).
  • Tumour regression/disappearance after intravenous administration of the green tea extract epigallocatechin gallate encapsulated in novel tumour-targeted vesicles, with complete disappearance of 40% of the tumours for both tested tumour types. It is the first time that a green tea extract was shown to have an anti-cancer therapeutic effect.
  • Synergy between docetaxel and mebendazole (collaborative work with Professor Hing Leung (Principal Investigator), the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research). We demonstrated that mebendazole (an anthelmintic drug that inhibits microtubule assembly) potently synergises docetaxel-mediated cell kill in vitro and in vivo. Liposomes entrapping docetaxel and mebendazole suppressed in vivo prostate tumour growth and extended progression-free survival. Our data supports a new concept of combined mebendazole/docetaxel treatment that warrants further clinical evaluation.

 

Podcast about recent research results: http://www.youtube.com/embed/JhbIoXsAM7M 

Website: http://www.dufeslab.com/

 

Prizes and awards

Nomination at the Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Awards 2021
Recipient
5/2021
Award of the Scientist Medal of the International Association of Advanced Materials (IAAM)
Recipient
5/2021
Nomination at the Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Awards 2020
Recipient
6/2020
Sustainability Strathclyde “bronze” award 2018-2019 (to the Dufès Lab)
Recipient
5/2019
Nomination and short-listing at the Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Awards 2018
Recipient
5/2018
Sustainability Strathclyde “bronze” award 2017-2018 (to the Dufès Lab)
Recipient
5/2018

More prizes and awards

Publications

Emergence of cationic polyamine dendrimersomes : design, stimuli sensitivity and potential biomedical applications
Laskar Partha, Dufès Christine
Nanoscale Advances (2021)
https://doi.org/10.1039/D1NA00536G
Lactoferrin-bearing gold nanocages for gene delivery in prostate cancer cells in vitro
Almowalad Jamal, Somani Sukrut, Laskar Partha, Meewan Jitkasem, Tate Rothwelle J, Mullin Margaret, Dufès Christine
International Journal of Nanomedicine Vol 16, pp. 4391-4407 (2021)
https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S316830
Regression of melanoma following intravenous injection of plumbagin entrapped in transferrin-conjugated, lipid–polymer hybrid nanoparticles
Sakpakdeejaroen Intouch, Somani Sukrut, Laskar Partha, Mullin Margaret, Dufès Christine
International Journal of Nanomedicine Vol 16, pp. 2615-2631 (2021)
https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S293480
Octadecyl chain-bearing PEGylated poly(propyleneimine)-based dendrimersomes : physicochemical studies, redox-responsiveness, DNA condensation, cytotoxicity and gene delivery to cancer cells
Laskar Partha, Somani Sukrut, Mullin Margaret, Tate Rothwelle, Warzecha Monika, Bowering Deborah, Keating Patricia, Irving Craig, Leung Hing Y, Dufès Christine
Biomaterials Science Vol 9, pp. 1431-1448 (2021)
https://doi.org/10.1039/d0bm01441a
Repurposing screen identifies mebendazole as a clinical candidate to synergise with docetaxel for prostate cancer treatment
Rushworth Linda K, Hewit Kay, Munnings-Tomes Sophie, Somani Sukrut, James Daniel, Shanks Emma, Dufès Christine, Straube Anne, Patel Rachana, Leung Hing Y
British Journal of Cancer Vol 122, pp. 517-527 (2020)
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41416-019-0681-5
Anti-tumor activity of intravenously administered plumbagin entrapped in targeted nanoparticles
Sakpakdeejaroen Intouch, Somani Sukrut, Laskar Partha, Irving Craig, Mullin Margaret, Dufes Christine
Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology Vol 16, pp. 85-100 (2020)
https://doi.org/10.1166/jbn.2020.2874

More publications

Teaching

Christine Dufès teaches on the Master of Pharmacy and on various MSc postgraduate degrees. 

 

  • UNDERGRADUATE TEACHING (MPharm)

- Being a Pharmacist (Years 2-4, MP220, MP320, MP420)

- Normal function of the gastrointestinal system (Year 2, MP221)

- Normal function of the nervous and endocrine systems (Year 2, MP223)

- Management of Infection and Infectious Diseases (Year 3, MP321)

- Management of CNS Conditions (Year 4, MP422)

  

  • POSTGRADUATE TEACHING (MSc)

- Drug discovery and development in cancer (MSc Cancer studies, MP988)

- Novel therapeutics and Biopharmaceuticals (MSc Advanced Drug Delivery, MP818)

- Advanced Topics In Drug Delivery (MSc Advanced Drug Delivery, MP952)

- Bioanalysis, biotechnology and quality management (MSc Pharmaceutical analysis, MP919) 

Research interests

Design and development of novel targeted drug- and gene-based nanomedicines for cancer therapy and brain delivery

Professional activities

Biomolecules (Journal)
Peer reviewer
7/2021
Invited talk at the University of Hertfordshire (LMS Research Conference) (online)
Speaker
22/6/2021
Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (External organisation)
Advisor
6/2021
Invited talk at the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences Cell and Gene therapy webinar
Speaker
12/5/2021
Invited webinar about Nanomedicine by the Lebanese Pharmacy Student Association
Speaker
10/4/2021
Scientia Pharmaceutica (Journal)
Peer reviewer
4/2021

More professional activities

Projects

Development of targeted nanomedicines to treat prostate cancer
Dufès, Christine (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2016 - 30-Jan-2019
Development of novel gene delivery systems for brain targeting by intravenous administration
Dufès, Christine (Principal Investigator) Pickard, Ben (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2016 - 30-Jan-2019
The Role Of S1P4 And SK1 In Triple Negative Breast Cancer
Pyne, Nigel (Principal Investigator) Dufès, Christine (Co-investigator) Pyne, Susan (Co-investigator)
06-Jan-2013 - 05-Jan-2014
Development of tumour-targeted gene delivery systems for intravenous cancer therapy
Dufès, Christine (Principal Investigator)
"Cancer kills more people in the UK than any other disease: one cancer sufferer dies every 15 minutes, which adds up to over 35 000 people a year.
The possibility of using genes as medicines to treat cancer is currently limited by the lack of safe and efficacious delivery systems able to deliver therapeutic genes selectively to tumours by intravenous administration, without secondary effects to healthy tissues.
On the basis that iron is essential for tumour cell growth and can be effectively carried to tumours by using specific iron-carrier receptors present in abundance on the surface of cancer cells, we demonstrated that the use of iron-carriers linked to a highly promising gene delivery system resulted in gene expression mainly in the tumours after intravenous administration. This led to a rapid and sustained tumour regression over one month, with disappearance of 90% of the tested tumours and regression of the remaining ones in a laboratory model.
Building on the promising results already obtained, the proposed project aims to develop new systems by modifying the iron-carrier, and to evaluate their anti-cancer efficacy on cancer cells in vitro and in vivo after intravenous administration.
This innovative research would potentially have a major impact on healthcare, as there is currently no gene medicine commercially available for the intravenous treatment of cancer."
01-Jan-2012 - 31-Jan-2015
Evaluation and Optimization of a novel non-viral gene delivery system for brain targeting by intravenous administration
Dufès, Christine (Principal Investigator)
Evaluation of a novel non-viral gene delivery system for brain targeting by intravenous administration
01-Jan-2012 - 31-Jan-2015
Evaluation of the therapeutic efficacy of a novel tumour-targeting gene delivery system on prostate cancers
Dufès, Christine (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2010 - 30-Jan-2012

More projects

Address

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
Robertson Wing

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