Zahraa Al Ahmady

Zahraa Al-Ahmady

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology


  • Senior lecturer (teaching and research) at Nottingham Trent University
  • Honorary research fellow at the University of Manchester

Career overview

Dr Zahraa Al-Ahmady obtained her BSc Degree in Pharmacy with a distinction from the College of Pharmacy, University of Baghdad in 2004. After training as a clinical pharmacist, she was awarded a scholarship to study the Masters in Drug Delivery at the UCL School of Pharmacy, where she won the AstraZeneca Prize for the best overall performance. Zahraa completed her PhD studies with the Nanomedicine Lab at UCL School of Pharmacy on the design, characterization and biological performance of temperature-sensitive vesicles for cancer therapy in 2012. She then joined the NANOSOLUTIONS (FP7-NMP) European project as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Manchester. Her work was mainly focused on the structure – biological function relationship that determines the safety of engineered nanomaterials. Following that she worked as a research fellow with the North West Centre of Advanced Drug Delivery (NoWCADD), a join post between the division of pharmacy at the University of Manchester, the Nanomedicine Lab and AstraZeneca, working on the development of innovative therapeutic and in vivo imaging approaches.

Research areas

Dr Zahraa Al-Ahmady explores effective and efficient delivery approaches for therapeutics using novel drug delivery vectors. While the delivery of therapeutics to their site of action (e.g. tumour and brain) is ideal, the understanding of their biodistribution, pharmacokinetics and toxicological profiles in vivo is very crucial at this stage of their development and for clinical use. Dr Al-Ahmady used different diseased animal models to study these parameters and test the therapeutic efficacy of drug molecules and macromolecules delivered by novel selective delivery vectors. Her work provides a useful link between Pharmacology, Nanomedicines & Biomaterials which encourages multidisciplinary interaction and future collaborations.

PhD projects in the areas of pharmacology/advanced therapeutics, drug delivery and nanomedicine for cancer and neurological conditions are open to self-funded students.

“Opportunities arise to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD in the areas identified above. Further information may be obtained on the NTU Research Degrees website”.

External activity


Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences.


- Prof Stuart Allan's Group, University of Manchester UK.

- Prof Kostas Kostarelos's Group, Nanomedicine Lab, University of Manchester, UK.

- Dr Ingo Schiessl's Group, University of Manchester, UK.

- Dr Barry McColl's Group, University of Edinburgh, UK.


Marilena Hadjidemetriou, Sarah McAdam, Grace Garner, Chelsey Thackeray, David Knight, Zahraa S. Al-Ahmady, Mariarosa Mazza, Jane Rojan, Andrew Clamp and Kostas Kostarelos.The human in vivo biomolecule corona onto PEGylated liposomes: a proof-of-concept clinical study, Advanced Materials (2018).

Marilena Hadjidemetriou, Zahraa S. Al-Ahmady, Maurizio Buggio, Joe Swift and Kostas Kostarelos. A Novel Scavenging Tool for Cancer Biomarker Discovery Based on the Blood-Circulating Nanoparticle Protein Corona, Biomaterials (2018).

Janja Vidmar, Katrin Loeschner, Manuel Correia, Erik H. Larsen, Pius Manser, Adrian Wichser, Kailen Boodhia, Zahraa S. Al-ahmady, Jaimé Ruiz, Didier Astruc, Tina Buerki-Thurnherr. Translocation of silver nanoparticles in the ex vivo human placenta perfusion model characterized by single particle ICP-MS, Nanoscale (2018).

Zahraa S. Al-Ahmady. Selective Drug Delivery Approaches to Lesioned Brain through Blood Brain Barrier Disruption, Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery (2018).

Zahraa S. Al-Ahmady, Marilena Hadjidemetriou, James Gabbins, Kostas Kostarelos. Formation of Protein Corona in vivo Affects Drug Release from Temperature-Sensitive Liposomes, Journal of Controlled Release (2018).

Zahraa S. Al-Ahmady, Neus Lozano, Kuo-Ching Mei, Wafa’ T. Al- Jamal, Kostas Kostarelos.Engineering of Thermosensitive Liposome-Nanoparticle Hybrids Loaded with Doxorubicin for Heat-Triggered Drug Release, International Journal of Pharmaceutics (2016).

Marilena Hadjidemetriou, Zahraa S. Al-Ahmady, Mariarosa Mazza, Kostas Kostarelos. The Emergence of Nanopharmacy: From Biology to Nanotechnology and Drug Molecules to Nanodrugs, In Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology: Innovation and Production (2016).

Zahraa S. Al-Ahmady, Kostas Kostarelos. Chemical Components for the Design of Temperature-Responsive Vesicles as Cancer Therapeutics, Chemical Reviews (2016).

Marilena Hadjidemetriou,Zahraa S. Al-Ahmady, Kostas Kostarelos. Time-evolution of in vivo Protein Corona onto Blood-Circulating PEGylated Liposomal Doxorubicin (DOXIL) Nanoparticles, Nanoscale (2016).

Marilena Hadjidemetriou, Zahraa S. Al-Ahmady, Mariarosa Mazza, Kostas Kostarelos. In vivo Biomolecule Corona around Blood-Circulating, Clinically-Used and Antibody-Targeted Lipid Bilayer Nanoscale Vesicles, ACS Nano (2015).

Zahraa S. Al-Ahmady, Cheryl L Scudamore, Kostas Kostarelos. Triggered Doxorubicin Release in Solid Tumours from Thermosensitive Liposome-Peptide Hybrids: Critical Parameters and Therapeutic Outcomes, International Journal of Cancer (2015).

Neus Lozano, Zahraa S. Al-Ahmady(joint first author), Nicolas Beziere, Vasilis Ntziachristos, Kostas Kostarelos. Monoclonal Antibody-Targeted PEGylated Liposome-ICG Encapsulating Doxorubicin as a Potential Theranostic Agent, International Journal of Pharmaceutics (2014).

Zahraa S. Al-Ahmady, Olivier Chaloin, Kostas Kostarelos. Monoclonal antibody-targeted, temperature-sensitive liposomes: In vivo tumor chemotherapeutics in combination with mild hyperthermia, Journal of Controlled Release (2014).

Zahraa S. Al-Ahmady, Wafa' T. Al-Jamal, Tam T. Bui, Alex F. Drake, James Mason, Jeroen V. Bossche, Kostas Kostarelos. Lipid-Peptide Vesicle Nanoscale Hybrids for Triggered Drug Release by Mild Hyperthermia in vitro and in vivo, ACS Nano (2012).

Wafa’ T. Al-Jamal, Zahraa S. Al-Ahmady, Kostas Kostarelos. Pharmacokinetics & Tissue Distribution of Temperature-Sensitive Liposomal Doxorubicin in Tumor-Bearing Mice Triggered with Mild Hyperthermia, Biomaterials (2012).

See all of Zahraa Al-Ahmady's publications...

Press expertise

Course(s) I teach on

  • Students in science lab
    Undergraduate | Full-time | 2019

  • Students in science lab
    Undergraduate | Full-time / Sandwich | 2019

  • Students in science lab
    Postgraduate taught / Professional | Full-time / Part-time / Sandwich | 2019