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Professor Jamshed Anwar

Professor, Associate Dean for Research

Jamshed Anwar

Lancaster University

Department of Chemistry



Tel: +44 1524 592392

Research overview

My expertise is in computer modelling and simulation with a focus on molecular simulations. My research aims to develop a fundamental understanding of organic molecular assemblies. Primarily the interest is in self assembly, phase transformations, interactions between assembled structures, and how assembled structures can be perturbed. Processes and systems being investigated include crystal nucleation and growth (with a particular interest in how these processes can be modulated), nanocrystals, phase transformations in crystals, biological membranes, protein aggregation, and drug delivery systems.

More broader applications include prediction of properties and behaviour of chemical and pharmaceutical systems, in particular drug delivery. The development of these predictive approaches should enable us to predict, optimise, and/or control the macroscopic properties and behaviour of chemical/pharmaceutical systems and processes on a rational basis, thus reducing both the factorial space and experimental effort to fewer and better experiments.


I have a degree in Pharmacy, a PhD in Chemical Physics/Crystallography from Birkbeck College London, University of London, and have read advanced modules in Mathematics with the Open University. Prior to my appointment at Lancaster, I held a Chair in Computational Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Institute of Life Sciences Research (formerly the Institute of Pharmaceutical Innovation), University of Bradford, where I also had the role of Director of Research for the School of Pharmacy. Previous to that I was a Reader in the Molecular Biophysics group at King's College London. I have also spent periods at the University of Pennsylvania, the Institute of Atomic & Molecular Physics (AMOLF) in the Netherlands, and the University Chemical Laboratory, Cambridge.

Before joining academia I had short career in the pharmaceutical industry with GSK where I developed the oral delivery system for the antibiotic Cefuroxime Axetil (Zinnat), which before its patent expiry earned GSK £500m/year. This delivery system was probably the first successful use of the amorphous form of a drug to enhance efficacy.

Awards and honours:

  • Jinnah Award 2009
  • Pfizer Award 1999
  • R. P. Scherer Award 1986
  • Visiting Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Senior International Scientist category)
  • Visiting Professor of the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain
  • Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge
  • Elected Member of the Board of Directors of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Member of the Academic Advisory Panel for University of Technology MARA, Malaysia
  • Member of the EPSRC Review College

Research Interests

My research aims to develop a fundamental understanding of organic molecular assemblies using computer modelling and simulation. I am particularly interested in self assembly, phase transformations, interactions between assembled structures, and how assembled structures can be perturbed. Processes and systems being investigated include nucleation in soft matter and in crystals, formation and stability of nanocrystals, phase transformations in crystals, soft matter structures including biological membranes, and drug delivery.

Nucleation is at the heart of all condensed matter. This is the earliest stage of molecular assembly, when the molecules come together, cluster, and form a condensed phase. It is the first step in crystallisation and an important intervention point for crystal engineering. Crystal engineering, (amongst other applications) is key to the design and development of pharmaceuticals. Over 85% of pharmaceuticals contain the drug in its solid state, as the solid state offers greater stability. So the choice of crystal structure, crystal morphology and size, can all affect the stability, manufacturing, and efficacy.

Nucleation is also important in biology and important processes include cryoprotection, anti-freeze proteins, formation of fibrils & fibres in amyloid diseases, and formation of cataracts, gall & kidney stones, and atherosclerosis plaques. The ability to prevent or modulate nucleation is therefore highly desirable.

Soft matter structures being investigated include peptide/protein assemblies, model biological membranes, and drug delivery systems such as nanoemulsions and nanoparticles. A particular interest is how drug delivery systems and/or drug molecules negotiate/interact with membranes.


Postdoctoral posts and studentships are competitive and are generally advertised on the website jobs.ac.uk. Prospective postdoctoral researchers and PhD students with their own funding should write to me directly, attaching a CV. I would be happy to assist in developing research projects for external funding or sponsorship opportunities. The research group is multidisciplinary and enquiries are welcome from prospective researchers with backgrounds in chemistry, chemical engineering, physics, pharmaceutical sciences or other allied disciplines.

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