Dr Zahra Rattray

Senior Lecturer

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences


Personal statement

Senior Lecturer in Translational Pharmaceutics I am a pharmacist by training with experience of working within the hospital, community and industry sectors. I have contributed to a diverse molecule portfolio spanning pre-clinical to late-stage development during my time at AstraZeneca and in collaboration with Patrys Ltd at the Yale School of Medicine (PAT-DX1). My research team has two overall interests; i) Analytical characterization of parenteral formulation attributes and in vivo performance: A key challenge in the commercial translation of newly-discovered drugs is understanding the key performance indicating characteristics crucial to their biological performance and how they interact with living systems. We are interested in developing new tools to profile these performance characteristics. Areas of research interest in my lab are summarized as follows; Understanding the environmental and physicochemical determinants of solution-phase formulation stability for antibody and suspension formulations. Determining key critical quality attributes in particle design to inform optimal in vivo performance. Analytical evaluation of nanomedicine interaction with biological media, and the mechanism of cellular uptake in two- and three-dimensional cellular models. Applying novel imaging modalities for evaluating drug and nanoparticle biodistribution, and impact on tumor response. The interplay between the tumour microenvironment and nanomedicine in vivo performance with a view to developing biorelevant in vitro tests. ii) DNA repair agents and the nuclear import pathway, and their role in cancer: We are interested in screening the functional and phenotypic role of DNA repair mutations. We also develop new small molecule drugs against various nuclear import transporters known to be elevated in cancer.

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Area of Expertise


I am an interdisciplinary pharmaceutical researcher with experience in developing injectable drugs (antibodies, small molecules, and nanomedicines). I have significant expertise in the analytical characterization of critical quality attributes for these products and the design of pre-clinical studies for evaluating biological performance (biopharmaceutics).

Equipment Capabilities

My laboratory hosts a Malvern Panalytical NanoSight NS300 and Archimedes Resonant Mass Measurement, which are both used to measure particle size and concentration. If you would be interested in accessing these technologies, please get in touch (zahra.rattray@strath.ac.uk).


I am also Director for the new EPSRC Multiscale Metrology Suite (modular setup including Field Flow Fractionation, Inductively-coupled mass spectrometry, Light Scattering and Raman) for Next-Generation Health Nanotechnologies (EP/V028960/1). For more information or to access this facility, please get in touch.

Prize And Awards

Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences Emerging Scientist Award
Saltire Society’s inaugural 40 Under 40 List
Sir Robin MacLellan Award
Women In Leadership Network+
Fellow of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Great Britain
International Pharmaceutical Federation Women in Science and Education Rising Star 2022 (FIPWise 2022)

More prizes and awards

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Sex differences in colon cancer metabolism reveal a novel subphenotype
Cai Yuping, Rattray Nicholas J W, Zhang Qian, Mironova Varvara, Santos-Neto Alvaro, Hsu Kuo-Shun, Rattray Zahra, Cross Justin R, Zhang Yawei, Paty Philip B, Khan Sajid A, Johnson Caroline H
Scientific Reports Vol 10 (2020)
ENT2 facilitates brain endothelial cell penetration and blood-brain barrier transport by a tumor-targeting anti-DNA autoantibody
Rattray Zahra, Deng Gang, Zhang Shenqi, Shirali Anupama, May Christopher K, Chen Xiaoyong, Cuffari Benedette J, Liu Jun, Zou Pan, Rattray Nicholas JW, Johnson Caroline H, Dubljevic Valentina, Campbell James A, Huttner Anita, Baehring Joachim M, Zhou Jiangbing, Hansen James E
JCI Insight Vol 6 (2021)
Metabolic dysregulation in vitamin E and carnitine shuttle energy mechanisms associate with human frailty
Rattray Nicholas JW, Trivedi Drupad K, Xu Yun, Chandola Tarani, Johnson Caroline H, Marshall Alan D, Mekli Krisztina, Rattray Zahra, Tampubolon Gindo, Vanhoutte Bram, White Iain R, Wu Frederick CW, Pendleton Neil, Nazroo James, Goodacre Royston
Nature Communications Vol 10 (2019)
Evaluation of temporal aggregation processes using spatial intensity distribution analysis
Rattray Zahra, Zindy Egor, Buzza Karen M, Pluen Alain
Protein Self-Assembly Methods and Protocols (2019) (2019)
Re-engineering and evaluation of anti-DNA autoantibody 3E10 for therapeutic applications
Rattray Zahra, Dubljevic Valentina, Rattray Nicholas, Greenwood Deanne L, Johnson Caroline H, Campbell James A, Hansen James E
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications Vol 496, pp. 858-864 (2018)
A DNA-damaging lupus autoantibody synergizes with PARP inhibitors against DNA repair-deficient tumor cells
Rattray Zahra, Patel Jaymin M, Noble Phillip W, Dubljevic Valentina, Greenwood Deanne L, Campbell James A, Hansen James E
Cancer Research Vol 78, pp. 2773 (2018)

More publications

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Professional Activities

EPSRC Peer Review College (External organisation)
Royal Society of Edinburgh's Young Academy of Scotland (External organisation)
A tale of badly behaving proteins, bioinspired delivery systems and inspirational women
Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences Pharm Sci 2023
Bioprocessing Entrepreneurial Skills Training (BEST) Programme – September 3rd – 8th 2023, Durham
Invited speaker

More professional activities


Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis Launch- Beta testing
Rattray, Zahra (Principal Investigator)
11-Jan-2023 - 10-Jan-2023
Analyses of metabolomics and proteomics in breast cancer using tissue samples and serum of newly diagnosed breast cancer patients to develop better biochemical understanding of all phenotypes of breast cancer but with a specific interest in triple negative subphenotypes.
Rattray, Zahra (Principal Investigator) Rattray, Nicholas (Principal Investigator) Lannigan, Alison (Principal Investigator)
A study examining the biomolecular stratification of breast cancer molecular subtypes
01-Jan-2023 - 30-Jan-2026
A pilot study evaluating the correlation between RA disease activity and gut dysbiosis
Rattray, Nicholas (Principal Investigator) Rattray, Zahra (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2023 - 31-Jan-2024
DTP 2224 University of Strathclyde | Davidson, Callum
Rattray, Zahra (Principal Investigator) Perrie, Yvonne (Co-investigator) Davidson, Callum (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 01-Jan-2026
Strathclyde CDT: Healthcare Nanotechnologies
Perrie, Yvonne (Principal Investigator) Rattray, Zahra (Principal Investigator) Hoskins, Clare (Principal Investigator) Faulds, Karen (Principal Investigator) Graham, Duncan (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 30-Jan-2025
DTP 2224 University of Strathclyde | Van Den Driest, Lisa
Rattray, Nicholas (Principal Investigator) Rattray, Zahra (Co-investigator) Van Den Driest, Lisa (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 01-Jan-2026

More projects

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Dr Zahra Rattray
Senior Lecturer
Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

Email: zahra.rattray@strath.ac.uk
Tel: 548 2106