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Dr. Helen Fox

Title:

Lecturer

School/ Department:

School of Science & Computing - Dept of Science

Telephone:

+353 0 51 306151

Room Name/ Num:

Portacabin 2

Campus:

Main Campus

OrcID Number:

0000-0002-5275-7166

My Blog/Website:

Click Here to View

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My Biography

Helen obtained a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in Applied Physics from Dublin City University in 2003. She then moved to Trinity College Dublin where she completed a PhD in Materials Science in the Chemical Physics of Low-Dimensional Nanostructures Group. Her research involved characterising the interactions between DNA and carbon nanotubes and exploring the factors controlling the dispersion efficiency of DNA. Upon completion of her PhD, Helen worked as a postdoctoral researcher in TCD, continuing her research on biomolecule-wrapped nanotubes.

In 2012, Helen joined the  Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre (PMBrc) in WIT to carry out research on solid pharmaceutical materials. Her research interests focus on understanding solid pharmaceutical materials and include formulation, characterisation and stability of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and understanding how the physical properties of particles in dry powder inhalation blends influence inhaler performance. 

Helen became a lecturer in the Dept. of Science in 2017. 

Research

Helen joined the PMBRC working on an Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership Project between WIT and Teva Pharmaceuticals in 2012. Based on the success of the project, a strategic collaboration was established between Teva and WIT in 2014. The aim was to establish and develop inhalations and formulations research in WIT. Since 2013, Helen has leveraged > €650,000 funding for research in this area. To date, Helen has supervised 4 PhD students to completion; 2 as primary supervisor and 2 as co-supervisor and is currently on the supervision team for two PhD students.

 

Research Interests

  • Inhalations
  • Dry powder inhalers
  • Materials Characterisation
  • Formulation
  • Physical Chemistry

 

Links

 

Current Postgraduate Students

Student Subject Area Degree Type Planned year of completion
Nasser Al-Hajj  High dose Dry powder inhaler formulations PhD 2023
MD Kamruzzaman Amorphous Formulations PhD 2024

Previous Postgraduate Students

Student

Subject Area

Degree Type

Year of Completion

Sean Roche

The physical properties of dry powder inhalation blends

PhD

2018
Cordula Weiss Formulation and materials characterisation of crystalline  beclomethsone dipropionate for inhalation

PhD

2018

Shrawan Bagel Theoretical and experimental investigation of solubility and stability of amorphous solid dispersions of BCS Class  II drugs

PhD

2018

Shahab Ud Din

Processing Induced Phase Transformations in Crystalline  Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs)

PhD

2018


 

Teaching

Department of Science, Waterford Institute of Technology, 2012 onwards

MSc in Analytical Science with Quality Management

Development/delivery of the following modules and subjects:

  • Advanced Drug Formulation Science - inhalations
  • Advanced Materials Characterisation – solid state NMR, Particle Size Analysis, nitrogen sorption.
  • Advanced Spectroscopic Techniques – solid state NMR

 

BSc/BSc (Hons) in Applied Pharmaceutical Science / Molecular Biology with Biopharmaceutical Science / Common Entry / Agricultural Science / Applied Computing

Delivered lectures, tutorials, practicals and mentoring for the following modules:

  • Good Laboratory Practice & Core Skills (Module Co-ordinator) (Year 1)
  • Advanced Inorganic and Photochemistry (Photochemistry) (Year 4)
  • Research Methodology (Year 4)
  • 4th Year Research Project (Year 4)
  • Lab Data Analysis and Presentation (Year 2)
  • Spectroscopic Techniques (Year 2)
  • Physical & Organic Chemistry (Year 1)
  • Introductory Chemistry (Year 1)
  • Introductory Physics (Year 1)
  • Physics 1 (Year 1)

 

Blackwater Community School, Lismore, Waterford, 2009-2010

  • Science and Maths Teacher

 

School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin, 2003-2009

BA (mod) in Physics / Physics and Chemistry of Advanced Materials

Delivered tutorials and laboratory classes on:

  • Physics
  • Sensors
  • Special Relativity
  • Currents and Electricity
  • Physical Optics and Oscillations 

 

Qualifications


  • Undertook the Level 9 Module in Blended Learning, WIT in 2017
  • Completed the Level 9 Module in Research Supervisor Skills in WIT in 2015 
  • Qualified as a post-primary school teacher having completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Education in UCC in 2010 

Publications

(Publishing as Helen Cathcart)

  1. Nasser Alhajj, Niall J O'Reilly, Helen Cathcart, "Developing Ciprofloxacin Dry Powder for Inhalation: A Story of Challenges and Rational Design in the Treatment of Cystic Fibrosis Lung InfectionInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 613, 2022

  2. Nasser Alhajj, Niall J O'Reilly, Helen Cathcart, "Leucine as an excipient in spray dried powder for inhalationDrug Discovery Today, Volume 26, 2021

  3. Nasser Alhajj, Niall J O'Reilly, Helen Cathcart, "Designing enhanced spray dried particles for inhalation: A review of the impact of excipients and processing parameters on particle properties" Powder Technology, Volume 384, 2021

  4. Shahab Ud Din, Helen Hughes, Niall J O’Reilly, Helen Cathcart, Thomas O’Ceallaigh, Elias Ndzie, Peter McLoughlin, "Investigation into the Stability, Crystallization Kinetics, and Heating Rate Dependent Crystallization of Amorphous Posaconazole", Crystal Growth & Design, Vol 20, Iss 8, 2020

  5. C Weiss, P Mcloughlin, P Manesiotis, W Redington, H Cathcart, "Preparation and Characterization of Beclomethasone Dipropionate Solvates", Crystal Growth & Design, 2018

  6. S Baghel, H Cathcart, NJ O’Reilly, "Investigation into the Solid-State Properties and Dissolution Profile of Spray-Dried Ternary Amorphous Solid Dispersions: A Rational Step toward the Design and Development of a Multicomponent Amorphous System", Molecular pharmaceutics, 2018

  7. S Baghel, H Cathcart, NJ O’Reilly, "Understanding the generation and maintenance of supersaturation during the dissolution of amorphous solid dispersions using modulated DSC and 1H NMR", International journal of pharmaceutics 536 (1), 414-425, 2018

  8. S Baghel, H Cathcart, NJ O’Reilly, “Theoretical and experimental investigation of drug-polymer interaction and miscibility and its impact on drug supersaturation in aqueous medium”, European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics 107, 16-31, 2016.

  9. S Baghel, H Cathcart, et. al., “An investigation into the crystallization tendency/kinetics of amorphous active pharmaceutical ingredients: A case study with dipyridamole and cinnarizine”, European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics 104, 59-71, 2016. 

  10. S Baghel, H Cathcart, NJ O'Reilly, “Polymeric Amorphous Solid Dispersions: A Review of Amorphization, Crystallization, Stabilization, Solid-State Characterization, and Aqueous Solubilization of Biopharmaceutical Classification System Class II Drugs”, Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 105 (9), 2527–2544, 2016. 

  11. C Weiss, P McLoughlin, H Cathcart, “Characterisation of dry powder inhaler formulations using atomic force microscopy”, International Journal of Pharmaceutics  494 (1), 2015. 

  12. JM Hughes, H Cathcart, JN Coleman, “Dispersion and Exfoliation of Nanotubes with Synthetic Oligonucleotides: Variation of Dispersion Efficiency and Oligo-Nanotube Interaction with Base Type”, The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 114 (27), 11741-11747, 2010, 

  13. H Cathcart, JN Coleman, Chemical Physics Letters, “Quantitative comparison of ultracentrifuged and diluted single walled nanotube dispersions; differences in dispersion quality” 474 (1-3), 2009. 

  14. H Cathcart, V Nicolosi et. al., “Ordered DNA wrapping switches on luminescence in single-walled nanotube dispersions”,  Journal of the American Chemical Society, 130(38), 12734-12744, 2008 

  15. H Cathcart, S Quinn, V Nicolosi et. al., “Spontaneous debundling of single-walled carbon nanotubes in DNA-based dispersions”, The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 111(1), 2007, 

  16. SD Bergin, V Nicolosi, H Cathcart, et. al., “Large populations of individual nanotubes in surfactant-based dispersions without the need for ultracentrifugation”, The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 112(4), 972-977, 2008 

  17. V Nicolosi, H Cathcart et. al., “Spontaneous exfoliation of single-walled carbon nanotubes dispersed using a designed amphiphilic peptide” Biomacromolecules, 9(2), 598-602, 2008 

Metrics

Total Citations: 1266

H-index: 12

Citations calculated by Google Scholar on 09/02/22

Conferences

  • 2nd Annual Formulation & Drug Delivery Congress, London, 18 – 19th May 2016
  • 1st Annual Inhalation & Respiratory Drug Delivery Congress, 18 – 19th May 2016
  • Drug Delivery to the Lungs 25 (DDL25), Edinburgh, 10th - 12th December 2014
  • Drug Delivery to the Lungs 24 (DDL24), Edinburgh, 11 – 13th December 2013
  • ChemOnTubes, Zaragoza, Spain. 6th - 9th April 2008 (poster presented)
  • ICSM, Dublin, Ireland. 2nd -7th July 2006 (poster presented)
  • E-MRS, Nice, France. 29th May – 2nd June 2006 (poster presented)
  • Carbon Nanotube-Polymer Composite International Conference, TUHH, Hamburg, Germany. 4th – 7th September 2005 (talk presented)
  • Molecular Nanotechnology Workshop, Copenhagen, Denmark. 16th – 21st August 2004 (talk and poster presented)
  • Nanotechnology in Biology, Biotechnology and Medicine Workshop, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA. 31st May – 4th June 2004 (talk and poster presented)

 

Other Presentions

  • Talk presented for “Careers in Physics Seminar”, Science Week, November 2016
  • Poster prepared for Global Head of Respiratory R&D, TEVA Pharmaceuticals, September 2013
  • Talk presented for “Careers in Physics Seminar”, Science Week, November 2012

The Philip Kelly Teva Excellence Scholarship

Helen oversees the running of The Philip Kelly Teva Excellence Scholarship. This is an undergraduate scholarship funded by Teva Pharmaceuticals, Waterford to support an excellent WIT student studying in the School of Science and Computing or the School of Engineering. 

The scholarship consists of a €3,000 bursary payment per year in 2nd, 3rd & 4th year, the opportunity of a work experience placement at Teva Ireland and support for a 4th year research project. This includes input from a Teva employee acts as a mentor to the student and support them in the project’s completion. 

​​

Emma Kearney (BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Science), the first awardee of the scholarship