Dr Amanda Pearce PhD

Dr Amanda Pearce

School of Chemistry
Group Leader

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Amanda Pearce is a Group Leader within the Rachel O’Reilly Group. Her research interests lie in the development of novel polymeric materials for applications in drug delivery and healthcare, with a particular focus in the field of nanotechnology for oncology therapies.


  • PhD in Polymer Chemistry, University of Queensland, Australia, 2015
  • BSc in Chemistry (1st Class Hons), University of Queensland, Australia, 2011
  • Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry


Amanda obtained a BSc with First Class Honours in Chemistry from the University of Queensland in 2011, with her final year project within the lab of Assoc. Prof. Kristofer Thurecht and Prof. Andrew Whittaker. She then remained in the same research group to pursue her PhD, graduating in 2015. Her thesis focused on the development and synthesis of drug-loaded hyperbranched polymer nanoparticles via controlled radical polymerisation techniques, with active targeting abilities for in vivo imaging and drug delivery towards prostate cancer applications.

She then moved to the group of Professor Cameron Alexander at the University of Nottingham in 2016 as a Research Fellow within the EPSRC funded ‘Next Generation Biomaterials Discovery’ grant, where she focused on the design, synthesis and characterisation of bespoke novel synthetic polymers through various synthetic strategies (RAFT, ROP etc) for in vivo drug delivery, with a particular interest in how choice of chemistry, architecture and size can be tuned to direct nanoparticle delivery in the body. In 2019, Amanda moved to Birmingham to join the O’Reilly group as a Senior Research Fellow, continuing her research into nanoscale assemblies for a range of therapeutic applications.


Research interests

  • Synthesis of polymeric nanoparticles
  • Stimuli-responsive nanoparticles for triggered drug delivery
  • Targeted delivery of functionalised nanoparticles
  • New biomedical applications for therapeutic nanoparticles


Recent publications


Taresco, V, Abelha, TF, Cavanagh, RJ, Vasey, CE, Anane-Adjei, AB, Pearce, AK, Monteiro, PF, Spriggs, KA, Clarke, P, Ritchie, A, Martin, S, Rahman, R, Grabowska, AM, Ashford, MB & Alexander, C 2021, 'Functionalized block co-polymer pro-drug nanoparticles with anti-cancer efficacy in 3D spheroids and in an orthotopic triple negative breast cancer model', Advanced Therapeutics, vol. 4, no. 1, 2000103. https://doi.org/10.1002/adtp.202000103

Li, Z, Pearce, AK, Dove, A & O'Reilly, R 2021, 'Precise tuning of polymeric fiber dimensions to enhance the mechanical properties of alginate hydrogel matrices', Polymers, vol. 13, no. 13, 2202. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13132202

Miller, AJ, Pearce, AK, Foster, JC & O'Reilly, RK 2021, 'Probing and tuning the permeability of polymersomes', ACS Central Science, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 30-38. https://doi.org/10.1021/acscentsci.0c01196

Sikder, A, Pearce, AK, Parkinson, S, Napier, R & O'Reilly, R 2021, 'Recent trends in advanced polymer materials in agriculture related applications', ACS Applied Polymer Materials. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsapm.0c00982

Rauschenbach, M, Lawrenson, SB, Taresco, V, Pearce, AK & O'Reilly, RK 2020, 'Antimicrobial hyperbranched polymer-usnic acid complexes through a combined ROP-RAFT strategy', Macromolecular Rapid Communications. https://doi.org/10.1002/marc.202000190

Greco, C, Taresco, V, Pearce, AK, Vasey, CE, Smith, S, Rahman, R, Alexander, C, Cavanagh, RJ, Musumeci, F & Schenone, S 2020, 'Development of Pyrazolo[3,4- d]pyrimidine Kinase Inhibitors as Potential Clinical Candidates for Glioblastoma Multiforme', ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsmedchemlett.9b00530

Pearce, AK, Anane-Adjei, AB, Cavanagh, RJ, Monteiro, PF, Bennett, TM, Taresco, V, Clarke, PA, Ritchie, AA, Alexander, MR, Grabowska, AM & Alexander, C 2020, 'Effects of polymer 3D architecture, size, and chemistry on biological transport and drug delivery in vitro and in orthotopic triple negative breast cancer models', Advanced Healthcare Materials, vol. 9, no. 22, 2000892. https://doi.org/10.1002/adhm.202000892

Sodano, F, Cavanagh, RJ, Pearce, AK, Lazzarato, L, Rolando, B, Fraix, A, Abelha, TF, Vasey, CE, Alexander, C, Taresco, V & Sortino, S 2020, 'Enhancing doxorubicin anticancer activity with a novel polymeric platform photoreleasing nitric oxide', Biomaterials Science, vol. 8, no. 5, pp. 1329-1344. https://doi.org/10.1039/c9bm01644a

Gordhan, D, Swainson, SME, Pearce, AK, Styliari, ID, Lovato, T, Burley, JC, Garnett, MC & Taresco, V 2020, 'Poly (Glycerol Adipate): From a Functionalized Nanocarrier to a Polymeric-Prodrug Matrix to Create Amorphous Solid Dispersions', Journal of pharmaceutical sciences, vol. 109, no. 3, pp. 1347-1355. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.xphs.2019.12.004

Vestri, A, Pearce, AK, Cavanagh, R, Styliari, ID, Sanders, C, Couturaud, B, Schenone, S, Taresco, V, Jakobsen, RR, Howdle, SM, Musumeci, F & Sagnelli, D 2020, 'Starch/poly(glycerol-adipate) nanocomposites: A novel oral drug delivery device', Coatings, vol. 10, no. 2, 125. https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10020125

Lawrenson, SB, Pearce, AK, Hart, S, Whitwood, AC, O'Reilly, RK & North, M 2020, 'Synthesis of cytotoxic spirocyclic imides from a biomass-derived oxanorbornene', Tetrahedron. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tet.2020.131754

Monteiro, PF, Gulfam, M, Monteiro, CJ, Travanut, A, Abelha, TF, Pearce, AK, Jerôme, C, Grabowska, AM, Clarke, PA, Collins, HM, Heery, DM, Gershkovich, P & Alexander, C 2020, 'Synthesis of micellar-like terpolymer nanoparticles with reductively-cleavable cross-links and evaluation of efficacy in 2D and 3D models of triple negative breast cancer', Journal of Controlled Release, vol. 323, pp. 549-564. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jconrel.2020.04.049

Review article

Pearce, AK, Wilks, T, Arno, MC & O'Reilly, R 2021, 'Synthesis and applications of anisotropic nanoparticles with precisely defined dimensions', Nature Reviews Chemistry, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 21–45. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41570-020-00232-7

Foster, JC, Akar, I, Grocott, MC, Pearce, AK, Mathers, RT & O'Reilly, RK 2020, '100th Anniversary of Macromolecular Science Viewpoint: The Role of Hydrophobicity in Polymer Phenomena', ACS Macro Letters, vol. 9, no. 11, pp. 1700-1707. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsmacrolett.0c00645

Phan, H, Kortsen, K, Englezou, G, Couturaud, B, Nedoma, AJ, Pearce, AK & Taresco, V 2020, 'Functional initiators for the ring-opening polymerization of polyesters and polycarbonates: An overview', Journal of Polymer Science, vol. 58, no. 14, pp. 1911-1923. https://doi.org/10.1002/pol.20200313

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