Conversations with Lipid Leaders: Professor Yvonne Perrie

Posted on March 22, 2021

Yvonne Perrie

Tell us a little bit about yourself (current role, background, family, etc.)

My current position is Professor in Drug Delivery within the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland. In 1998 I gained my PhD from the University of London investigating the role of liposomes for drug delivery. I then worked in London within a newly established Drug Delivery Company (Lipoxen Technologies Ltd) for two years, developing their liposome drug delivery platform technology prior to moving into academia to set up my own research group. My research is multi-disciplinary and focuses on the development of drug delivery systems to facilitate the delivery of drugs and vaccines, thus providing practical solutions for current healthcare problems. Currently, I am President of the Controlled Release Society, an interdisciplinary scientific society.

What do you consider the largest breakthrough in lipid research in the last few years?

This has to be the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines – what a game changer these are. Moving from a pandemic outbreak to highly effective vaccines in around 12 months is outstanding progress.

Did you always envision yourself becoming a scientist? If not, what did you want to be when you grew up? Who influenced you to become a scientist?

I went through many options before deciding on training to be a Pharmacist. As I progressed through the Pharmacy degree program, I decided I was more interested in the R&D side of things. So, I completed my degree and my pre-registration training, and then went on to do a PhD.

What led you to drug delivery systems as an area of key interest in your research? What is the significance of understanding liposomes and lipid nanoparticles in ongoing drug delivery and vaccine research?

I did my PhD with Prof Gregory Gregoriadis, and it was an amazing experience working for Gregory and hearing about all the work being done in the field. I quickly got to see all the options and opportunities for lipids improve the delivery of drugs and vaccines and for them to improve global healthcare.

What are your hobbies? What do you like to do outside of the lab?

At the moment, I am committing a lot of my spare time to supporting the Controlled Release Society; as a Society, CRS has made a big difference to my career and supported me building my research, my network and always supports the development of my research group. Because of this, I want to offer my support back to CRS, so others can gain in the same way I had. I am also trying to learn to play the violin – this is not going very well though.

Do you have a favorite Avanti product or category of products? Maybe a product that you’ve found most helpful in your research?

The cationic lipids and the adjuvant lipids were used extensively throughout my PhD (where I looked at the use of liposomes for the delivery of DNA vaccines) and continue to be heavily used in our labs today. We also find all the information on the website really helpful, so much great stuff to support those coming into the field. We do miss the Avanti polar lipid pencils that used to come in the dry ice boxes. The general friendly support we get from Avanti is also really useful.

To learn more about Professor Yvonne Perrie's research, click HERE