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


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. 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

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

Vasey, CE, Pearce, AK, Sodano, F, Cavanagh, R, Abelha, T, Cuzzucoli Crucitti, V, Anane-Adjei, AB, Ashford, M, Gellert, P, Taresco, V & Alexander, C 2019, 'Amphiphilic tri- and tetra-block co-polymers combining versatile functionality with facile assembly into cytocompatible nanoparticles', Biomaterials Science, vol. 7, no. 9, pp. 3832-3845. https://doi.org/10.1039/c9bm00667b

Swainson, SME, Taresco, V, Pearce, AK, Clapp, LH, Ager, B, McAllister, M, Bosquillon, C & Garnett, MC 2019, 'Exploring the enzymatic degradation of poly(glycerol adipate)', European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, vol. 142, pp. 377-386. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpb.2019.07.015

Phan, H, Minut, RI, Mccrorie, P, Vasey, C, Larder, RR, Krumins, E, Marlow, M, Rahman, R, Alexander, C, Taresco, V & Pearce, AK 2019, 'Role of self‐assembly conditions and amphiphilic balance on nanoparticle formation of PEG‐PDLLA copolymers in aqueous environments', Journal of Polymer Science. Part A: Polymer Chemistry, vol. 57, no. 17, pp. 1801-1810. https://doi.org/10.1002/pola.v57.17

Ruiz-cantu, LA, Pearce, AK, Burroughs, L, Bennett, TM, Vasey, CE, Wildman, R, Irvine, DJ, Alexander, C & Taresco, V 2019, 'Synthesis of methacrylate-terminated block copolymers with reduced transesterification by controlled ring-opening polymerization', Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, vol. 220, no. 2, 1800459. https://doi.org/10.1002/macp.201800459

Pearce, AK, Vasey, CE, Anane-Adjei, AB, Sodano, F, Crucitti, VC, Irvine, DJ, Howdle, SM, Alexander, C & Taresco, V 2019, 'Versatile, Highly Controlled Synthesis of Hybrid (Meth)acrylate–Polyester–Carbonates and their Exploitation in Tandem Post-Polymerization–Functionalization', Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, vol. 220, no. 21, 1900270. https://doi.org/10.1002/macp.201900270

Review article

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

Pearce, AK & O'Reilly, RK 2019, 'Insights into active targeting of nanoparticles in drug delivery: advances in clinical studies and design considerations for cancer nanomedicine', Bioconjugate Chemistry, vol. 30, no. 9, pp. 2300-2311. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.9b00456

Pearce, AK, Foster, JC & O'Reilly, RK 2019, 'Recent developments in entropy-driven ring-opening metathesis polymerization: mechanistic considerations, unique functionality, and sequence control', Journal of Polymer Science. Part A: Polymer Chemistry, vol. 57, no. 15, pp. 1621-1634. https://doi.org/10.1002/pola.29428

View all publications in research portal