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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

Dr Alison Lansley is a Principal Lecturer in Pharmaceutics in the School of Applied Sciences at the University of Brighton. She graduated with a degree in Pharmacy and then studied the effect of preservatives on nasal mucociliary clearance for her PhD (both at the University of Brighton). After this, she went on to research ciliary activity and the role of calcium ions in intercellular communication at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Subsequently, Alison took up a postdoctoral and then lecturing position at King’s College London where she studied drug delivery to the airways. After a career break she was awarded a Daphne Jackson fellowship at the University of Sussex and from this she moved to her current position where her research interests include the effect of mucus on drug absorption in the respiratory tract and factors affecting mucociliary clearance, as well as optimising the treatment of asthma in children.

She teaches biopharmaceutics to undergraduate and postgraduate students and has served on the committee of the Inhalation Focus Group of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences. She has supervised PhD students and postdoctoral researchers with funding from research councils, charities and industry and has published papers and book chapters on pulmonary and nasal drug delivery.

Approach to teaching

I teach on a wide variety of courses, both undergraduate and postgraduate, including the four-year pharmacy degree (MPharm). I specialise in biopharmaceutics, mainly teaching about the factors affecting the bioavailability of drugs delivered by a variety of routes and how this can be modelled in vitro. The features of these routes and the physiocochemical properties of the drugs are considered as well as the formulation, including those for modified release. I aim to engage the students by making my lectures interactive, with lots of questions and answers. I support this with Powerpoint slides and podcasts which student feedback indicates are particularly popular. I recently won a student-nominated, University of Brighton award for Excellence in Facilitating and Empowering Learning. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Research interests

I am interested in the delivery of drugs and particles to the nose and lungs, particularly the use of in vivo-reflective in vitro cell culture models of the airway epithelium; the barrier to drug absorption. This is a long-standing interest of mine; having worked on the Caco-2 cell culture model of the intestine, I was interested in developing a similar model of the nose and/or lung. I have used the 16HBE14o- cell line to study drug absorption, including the absorption of drugs from nanoparticles, and drug toxicity. More recently, our group has been studying the effect of mucus on airway drug absorption using two mucus-secreting cell lines (SPOC1 and UNCN3T) and also the effect of drugs and other chemicals on mucus secretion as a measure of irritancy https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpb.2021.07.016. In addition, I am interested in the role of mucociliary clearance on airway drug delivery, particularly the effect of formulation variables, air pollution and other chemicals on this primary defence mechanism of the nose and lung DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2021.121054. This has led to general expertise in cellular toxicity https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yrtph.2021.105022 which has been extended to studies of compounds found in processed water. I am also interested in the bioavailability of inhaled drugs in children and adults and how this can be optimised DOI: 10.1186/s13063-016-1437-7


Supervisory Interests

I am interested the in the absorption of drugs and particulates (including air pollution) in the nose and lung and their effect on permeability (cell junctions).  A particular interest is the role of mucus and mucociliary clearance in drug/particulate delivery to the airways. Further, I am interested in the local toxicity of inhaled compounds and I have extended this to studying the health implications of treated water using cell-based assays. I have supervised 11 successful PhD students and 5 postdoctoral scientists.

Current projects available for supervision include: 

1. The delivery of drugs and particles to the nose and lungs, particularly the use of in vivo-reflective in vitro cell culture models of the airway epithelium https://authors.elsevier.com/sd/article/S0939-6411(21)00202-2

2. The role mucus and mucociliary clearance plays in drug and particulate delivery to the nose and lungs.

3. Water sustainability: Public perceptions and health implications of water re-use.

4. Determining the impact of ultra-fine particulate air pollution (UFPs) on mucus secretion, ciliary activity and epithelial permeability in the young and ageing lung. Do UFPs accelerate lung ageing?


  • RS Pharmacy and materia medica
  • drug delivery to nose and lung, in vitro drug absorption models,mucociliary clearance, toxicology, air pollution, nanoparticles


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