Dr Christopher McConville BSc, MSc, PhD PG Cert

Dr Christopher McConville

School of Pharmacy
Associate Professor in Pharmaceutics, Formulation and Drug Delivery
Director of Research for Institute of Clinical Sciences

Contact details

Institute of Clinical Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr McConville is active in the field of drug formulation and delivery, with a focus on medical devices and combinational products.  He works with the pharmaceutical industry, academia, and clinical partners to drive innovation from proof-of-concept and feasibility through clinical trials and onto commercial registration.  His recent work has focused on the development of an implantable device for the local delivery of chemotherapy to the brain (ChemoSeed®) as well as a device for the delayed and localised delivery of chemotherapy to the pancreatic cancer margin (ChemoPatch).

He has a real passion for improving the lives of cancer patients especially those with hard-to-treat cancers such as brain tumours and pancreatic cancers, where we have not seen improvement in prognosis in 40 years. He believes that with innovative drug delivery we could make a real impact for these patients and their families within 5 years.


  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, 2013
  • PhD in Pharmaceutics, Queen’s University of Belfast, 2008
  • MSc in Biomolecular Structure and Function, Queen’s University of Belfast, 2005
  • BSc in Applied Biochemical Sciences, University of Ulster, 2003


How do you achieve smarter drug delivery?

Dr McConville completed his PhD and postdoctoral training in the School of Pharmacy at the Queen’s University of Belfast on the formulation and drug delivery of HIV microbicides.  He used innovative engineering techniques such as hot melt extrusion, injection moulding and 3D printing to manufacture novel vaginal dosage forms such as vaginal rings and tablets.  When he took up his first independent research post he decided to use these innovative techniques to manufacture implantable devices for the localised treatment of hard-to-treat cancers such as brain tumours and pancreatic cancer.

His current independent and collaborative research is focused on the use of cutting-edge pharmaceutical engineering technologies such as hot melt extrusion, injection moulding, 3D printing, microfluidics etc. to manufacture novel implantable drug delivery devices and nanoparticles for the localised and personalised treatment of cancers.

His research has resulted in the development of an implantable device for the local delivery of chemotherapy to the brain (ChemoSeed®).  He founded Extruded Pharmaceuticals Ltd (EPL) in 2016 and joined the Board as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) to take ChemoSeed® into the clinic and onto commercialisation. ChemoSeed® is currently being utilised by several pharmaceutical companies for the sustained delivery of their leading drug candidates.

In 2022 he was appointed as Translational Lead for the Precision health Technologies Accelerator (PHTA) to take innovative technologies from proof-of-concept and feasibility through clinical trials and onto commercial registration.  He is responsible for establishing the translational and commercialisation pathway for the technology, identify academics, clinicians, industry partners etc. needed to advance the technology onto commercialisation and then build and lead the team to ensure the translational and commercialisation pathway is followed and goals and targets achieved on time.

In 2023 Dr McConville was appointed as Director of Research for the Institute of Clinical Sciences and will lead the REF2028 submission for Unit of Assessment 3.


Postgraduate supervision

Since joining Birmingham Dr McConville has successfully supervised 12 PhD students and 10 MRes students.

Dr McConville is further interested in supervising doctoral research students in the following areas:

  • Implantable devices for localised treatment of brain tumours
  • 3D printing of solid dosage forms
  • Nanotechnology
  • Solubility enhancement


Dr McConville has research and doctoral supervision interests in the fields of drug delivery, solubility enhancement, implantable devices, and nanotechnology.  Dr McConville’s research group interests include:

Current projects

  • Implantable devices for the localised treatment of hard-to-treat cancers.
  • 3D printing of solid dosage forms
  • Manufacture of personalised dosage forms
  • Nanoparticles
  • Solubility enhancement

Other activities

  • External examiner for a number of PhD programmes including Aston University, Ulster University, Queens University Belfast, Athlone Institute of Technology, the University of Queensland, the University of Nottingham and Imperial College London.
  • Expert Panel Member Tessa Jowell Brain Tumour Research Novel Therapeutics Accelerator (BTR-NTA) programme
  • Translational Lead for the PHTA Ltd
  • Consultant for several pharmaceutical companies
  • EPSRC Peer Review College Member
  • Member of the EPSRC: Health Technologies Investigator-Led review panel


Recent publications


Abdelnabi, D, Lastakchi, S, Watts, C, Atkins, H, Hingtgen, S, Valdivia, A & McConville, C 2024, 'Local administration of irinotecan using an implantable drug delivery device stops high-grade glioma tumor recurrence in a glioblastoma tumor model', Drug delivery and translational research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13346-024-01524-x

Mahmoud, BS & McConville, C 2023, 'Box–Behnken Design of Experiments of Polycaprolactone Nanoparticles Loaded with Irinotecan Hydrochloride', Pharmaceutics, vol. 15, no. 4, 1271. https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics15041271

Essa, E, Amin, M, Sultan, A, Arafa, M, El Maghraby, G & McConville, C 2023, 'Hot melt extrusion for enhanced dissolution and intestinal absorption of hydrochlorothiazide', Journal of Drug Delivery Science and Technology, vol. 88, 104895. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jddst.2023.104895

Agbo, CP, Ugwuanyi, TC, Eze, OC, Onugwu, AL, Echezona, AC, Nwagwu, CS, Uzondu, SW, Ogbonna, JD, Ugorji, LO, Nnamani, PO, Akpa, PA, Reginald-Opara, JN, Ogbodo, JO, McConville, C, Attama, AA, Momoh, MA & Ofokansi, KC 2023, 'Quinine: Redesigned and Rerouted', Processes, vol. 11, no. 6, 1811. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11061811

Lastakchi, S, Olaloko, MK & McConville, C 2022, 'A Potential New Treatment for High-Grade Glioma: A Study Assessing Repurposed Drug Combinations against Patient-Derived High-Grade Glioma Cells', Cancers, vol. 14, no. 11, 2602. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14112602

Mahmoud, BS & McConville, C 2021, 'Development and Optimization of Irinotecan-Loaded PCL Nanoparticles and Their Cytotoxicity against Primary High-Grade Glioma Cells', Pharmaceutics, vol. 13, no. 4, 541. https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13040541

Agbo, C, Ugwuanyi, T, Ugwuoke, W, McConville, C, Attama, A & Ofokansi, K 2021, 'Intranasal artesunate-loaded nanostructured lipid carriers: A convenient alternative to parenteral formulations for the treatment of severe and cerebral malaria', Journal of Controlled Release, vol. 334, pp. 224-236. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jconrel.2021.04.020

Gawley, M, Almond, L, Daniel, S, Lastakchi, S, Kaur, S, Detta, A, Cruickshank, G, Miller, R, Hingtgen, S, Sheets, K & McConville, C 2020, 'Development and in vivo evaluation of Irinotecan-loaded Drug Eluting Seeds (iDES) for the localised treatment of recurrent glioblastoma multiforme', Journal of Controlled Release, vol. 324, pp. 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jconrel.2020.05.012

Mahmoud, B, AlAmri, AH & McConville, C 2020, 'Polymeric Nanoparticles for the Treatment of Malignant Gliomas', Cancers, vol. 12, no. 1, 175, pp. 1. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010175

Kalisvaart, M, Broadhurst, D, Marcon, F, Pande, R, Schlegel, A, Sutcliffe, R, Marudanayagam, R, Mirza, D, Chatzizacharias, N, Abradelo, M, Muiesan, P, Isaac, J, Ma, YT, Mcconville, C & Roberts, K 2020, 'Recurrence patterns of pancreatic cancer after pancreatoduodenectomy: systematic review and a single-centre retrospective study', HPB : the official journal of the International Hepato Pancreato Biliary Association, vol. 22, no. 9, pp. 1240-1249. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hpb.2020.01.005

Matos, RL, Lu, T, Leeke, G, Prosapio, V, McConville, C & Ingram, A 2020, 'Single-step coprecipitation and coating to prepare curcumin formulations by supercritical fluid technology', Journal of Supercritical Fluids, vol. 159, 104758. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.supflu.2020.104758

Garrett, A-M, Lastakchi, S & McConville, C 2020, 'The Personalisation of Glioblastoma Treatment Using Whole Exome Sequencing: A Pilot Study', Genes, vol. 11, no. 2, 173. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020173

Fuenmayor, E, Forde, M, Healy, AV, Devine, DM, Lyons, JG, McConville, C & Major, I 2019, 'Comparison of fused-filament fabrication to direct compression and injection molding in the manufacture of oral tablets', International Journal of Pharmaceutics, vol. 558, pp. 328-340. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2019.01.013

Lessa Matos, R, Lu, T, Prosapio, V, McConville, C, Leeke, G & Ingram, A 2019, 'Coprecipitation of curcumin/PVP with enhanced dissolution properties by the supercritical antisolvent process', Journal of CO2 Utilization, vol. 30, pp. 48-62. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcou.2019.01.005

Lessa Matos, R, Lu, T, McConville, C, Leeke, G & Ingram, A 2018, 'Analysis of curcumin precipitation and coating on lactose by the integrated supercritical antisolvent-fluidized bed process', Journal of Supercritical Fluids, vol. 141, pp. 143-156. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.supflu.2017.12.013

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