Dr Iain Oswald

Senior Lecturer

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

Personal statement

EPSRC Early Career Fellow

Iain D.H. Oswald graduated from the University of Edinburgh (2001) and remained there in the group of Professor Simon Parsons to study hydrogen-bonding patterns and co-crystallisation as part of his PhD. Fortunately, this research expanded to investigate the effects of high pressure which allowed him the opportunity to work at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble. In 2004 he left for Grenoble where he became a postdoctoral researcher on the high pressure beamline (ID27). In 2006, he returned to Edinburgh to join the group of Colin R. Pulham and started a fellowship position funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

In 2009, Iain started his post at SIPBS as a Lecturer in Pharmaceutics and is interested and has been awarded funding in the areas of co-crystallisation of pharmaceutical materials at high pressure (EPSRC Early Career Fellowship) and polymorphism and polymerisation of monomeric materials (Leverhulme Trust 2012-2015). 

Iain has contributed to the MPharm program as the 4th Year Co-ordinator (2012-2016) and has been an integral part of the redevelopment of the MPharm curriculum.  He lectures and is class coordinator for the 2nd year class Pharmaceutics and for the Year 2 class Normal Function of the gastrointestinal tract.  Students in the 4th year of study will be able to work with Iain on research associated with pharmaceutical products in the solid state. His teaching activities extend to postgraduate degrees in the MRes Drug Delivery Systems and MSc Pharmaceutical Analysis course.

He is currently a member of the ESPRC Early Career Forum in Manufacturing that seeks engage with the EPSRC, Industry and academia to highlight challenges in the area of Manufacturing.


A prolific solvate former, galunisertib, under the pressure of crystal structure prediction, produces ten diverse polymorphs
Bhardwaj Rajni M, McMahon Jennifer A, Nyman Jonas, Price Louise S, Konar Sumit, Oswald Iain D H, Pulham Colin R, Price Sarah L, Reutzel-Edens Susan M
Journal of the American Chemical Society Vol 141, pp. 13887-13897 (2019)
Structural investigation and compression of a co-crystal of indomethacin and saccharin
Connor Lauren E, Vassileiou Antony D, Halbert Gavin W, Johnston Blair F, Oswald Iain DH
CrystEngComm Vol 21, pp. 4465-4472 (2019)
Antisolvent addition at extreme conditions
Ward Martin R, Oswald Iain D H
CrystEngComm Vol 21, pp. 4437-4443 (2019)
The effects of extreme conditions on molecular solids
Oswald Iain D H, Beavers Christine M
CrystEngComm Vol 21, pp. 4420-4421 (2019)
Sweet like chocolate
Oswald Iain D H
Acta Crystallographica Section C: Structural Chemistry Vol 75, pp. 1021-1022 (2019)
Pressure-induced polymorphism of caprolactam : a neutron diffraction study
Hutchison Ian, Bull Craig L, Marshall William G, Urquhart Andrew J, Oswald Iain DH
Molecules Vol 24 (2019)

More publications

Professional activities

Polymorphism of acrylamide facilitated by pressure-transmitting medium
Under pressure to react - acetylenedicarboxylic acid polymerisation
BCA Chemical Crystallography Group Meeting
BCA Industrial group meeting
Invited speaker
SciX 2015
Invited speaker
IUCr 2014 International Union of Crystallography Congress

More professional activities


Investigation of maleic-d2 acid isomerization at high pressure
Ward, Martin (Principal Investigator) Oswald, Iain (Co-investigator)
We will use central facilities time (ISIS neutron and muon facility) to study the conversion of maleic to fumaric acid under high pressure and temperature conditions. Experiments performed in-house show that temperature of pressure alone do not significantly influence the conversion of maleic to fumaric acid; however, the combination of both does result in successful conversion. Neutron experiments will elucidate the conversion in-situ, as it progresses, and allow us to identify ciritcal conditions of temperature and pressure to cause this conversion.
laser-induced nucleation at extreme conditions
Ward, Martin (Principal Investigator) Oswald, Iain (Co-investigator) Alexander, Andrew J (Co-investigator)
In this work we will explore the use of a focussed beam of light to cause crystals to form inside our high-pressure sample holder. The use of laser light (pulse and continuous) has been shown to be able to cause nucleation (the first step of crystallization) to occur at ambient conditions, we will continue with this to (i) see if it is applicable to high pressure conditions, and (ii) develop the methodology to assist with nucleation studies at extreme conditions.
Pressure-dependent In-Situ Monitoring of Granular Materials
Florence, Alastair (Principal Investigator) Halbert, Gavin (Co-investigator) Markl, Daniel (Co-investigator) McArthur, Stephen (Co-investigator) Nordon, Alison (Co-investigator) Oswald, Iain (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2022
assess the potential for API particle shape control in API crystallisation processes (Student Placement Lauren Connor)
Oswald, Iain (Principal Investigator)
13-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2018
Evaluation of solid-state form for polymer drug delivery
Oswald, Iain (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2017
Pressure-Induced Nucleation for the Continuous Manufacture of Supramolecular assemblies
Sefcik, Jan (Co-investigator) Ter Horst, Joop (Co-investigator) Oswald, Iain (Fellow)
"The organic solid state is at the centre of a number of key billion dollar industries from pharmaceuticals ($60 billion, 2009); pigments and dyes ($1.2 billion revenue, 2010), agrochemicals ($134 billion market, 2010), energetics (explosives and propellants; $0.5 billion revenue, 2012). Each of these industries suffers from attrition whereby the number of possible products that reach the marketplace is a fraction of those conceived and made in research labs. A stage at which materials are discarded is that of the physicochemical properties. A well-known example is in the pharmaceutical industry where it is estimated that it costs $1.6 billion to produce one drug compound which is due, in part, to the catastrophic attrition rates of drug products from bench to production line. Therefore if there was a method by which one could alter the physicochemical properties without changing the functionality of the molecules the cost for manufacture would decrease considerably.

Crystal Engineering or co-crystallisation is one method by which one can alter the properties of materials by forming supramolecular assemblies. These assemblies contain more than one chemical entity but can enhance stability, solubility, colour and flow properties through the addition of the second inert component. The inclusion of a second component impacts on the three-dimensional arrangement of molecules which in turn changes the physical properties of materials. The beauty of this method is that the functionality of the molecule in question is not changed i.e. a pharmaceutical product still possesses the correct molecular geometry to bind to receptors to affect a response; the solubility of a pigment may be enhanced without the loss of its colour. Another method by which one can alter the three-dimensional structure of a material hence its physical properties is via the application of high-pressure (pressures of 1atm). High pressure has proven to be an extremely effective method for changing the 3-D structure and industrial high pressure methods are already in use for pasteurising foodstuffs e.g. chicken, shellfish, orange juice etc. One of the key disadvantages is that new high pressure forms of single-component materials, e.g. paracetamol, are not stable under normal working conditions. By coupling the two areas of science together, crystal engineering and high pressure, we will be able to create materials that are stable under normal working conditions.

This proposal seeks to develop a novel manufacturing methodology by which we are able to form new materials at high pressure and feed these into an industrial scale process. This process of 'seeding' is used in industrial settings presently to ensure that a consistent product is formed from the crystallisation process, we will use this process to promote the growth of high-pressure materials under ambient conditions in both batch and continuous flow systems. The latter system would align our project to the outputs of the EPSRC Centre for Continuous Manufacture and Crystallisation. Furthermore, detailed analysis of the process and the resulting materials will be carried out so that improvements can be made in the process, such as the pressures and concentrations used, as well as the design of the assemblies themselves. The physical properties of the new materials will be investigated and will provide the feedback to improve upon the process."
01-Jan-2016 - 31-Jan-2021

More projects


Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
Robertson Wing

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