Professor Giuseppe Battaglia


giuseppe battaglia

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Job title: Professor
Division: Department of Chemistry
Organisation: University College London
Tags: Fellowship: Established Career Fellowship, University College London
Related theme: Healthcare technologies Physical Sciences


I am the Chair in Molecular Bionics in the Department of Chemistry at the University College London (UCL). Prior to UCL, I held positions as Lecturer -2006, Senior Lecturer -2009 and Professor -2011 in the Departments of Materials Sci. Eng. (2006-2009) and Biomedical Science (2009-2013) at the University of Sheffield.

My Fellowship

After decades of research, cancer is still one of the top killers responsible for almost 15% of the total deaths worldwide per year. One of the most critical limitations for cancer therapy is our inability to direct anticancer drugs to cancerous cells maximising killing and minimising side effects (often worse than the disease itself).

This is due to the fact that cancer cells are the same healthy cells gone wrong and hence share many similarities with the good cells complicating detection and targeting. I propose here the engineering of ultra-small carriers (as small as a virus and 100 times smaller than cancer cells) that will be equipped with unique chemical signature to target almost exclusively cancer cells. I will achieve selective targeting by engineering multivalent and multiplexed interaction between the nanocarrier and the cancer cells to create unique binding profile as a function of receptor concentration and composition.

The nanocarriers will also be able to carry a lot of drugs and deliver them right inside the cells where the drug is most effective. Once their job is done, the material that makes the carrier is dissolved into the same nutrients used by our body. Most importantly we will design nanocarriers using patient-derived tissues so to create a fully personalised targeting profile as well as a personalised drug dosage.

Career benefits of Fellowship

This is a tremendous opportunity and a great honour. This award is very much a great vehicle to project my work into a new level enabling me to concentrate on translating cutting-edge physical science into clinical application.