Development & Alumni Relations Office 



NEW HEAD OF SCHOOL OF PHARMACYProfessor Colin McCoy, Head of Pharmacy QUB

10 August 2020

Professor Colin McCoy has taken up the position of the new Head of the School of Pharmacy in the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences (1 August 2020).

The School of Pharmacy at Queen's is ranked 2nd in the UK for Pharmacy and Pharmacology according to The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020.

Commenting on his appointment, Professor McCoy said:

"This is an exciting and challenging time to be taking up this position. The importance of the role of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists in the management of, and development of solutions to, the Covid-19 pandemic – as well as healthcare more generally – is very clear just now.

“Queen's is a world-class place to study and do research in these subjects."

Colin graduated from Queen's in 1991 with a BSc in Chemistry. He earned his PhD in Chemistry – which included a publication in Nature – from the University in 1994 and then undertook two years of postdoctoral research at the Collège de France, Paris, where he worked with Nobel laureate, Professor Jean-Marie Lehn.

He returned to Queen's in 1996, firstly in the (then) School of Chemistry, before moving to the School of Pharmacy in 1999 to take up a Royal Society University Research Fellowship, which he held for eight years. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in the School in 2006, to Reader in 2009, and to Professor in 2012.

In 2016 he was appointed Dean of Internationalisation for the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences where he led the Faculty internationalisation strategy. He played a significant role in the development of the University's flagship transnational education initiative, China Queen's College (CQC), where undergraduates based primarily in Shenyang take Queen's degrees in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology.

Professor McCoy leads three themes within Biomaterials and Drug Delivery in the School of Pharmacy; polymeric medical devices, photoactive biomaterials and sensor development. His research interests lie in the design of triggered drug delivery systems, the development of infection-resistant biomaterials and the design of sensor technologies for drugs and biologically-relevant species.

His research has attracted in excess of £5m of funding, and he is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and several patents. His work has received media attention from sources such as the BBC World Service, New ScientistThe Sunday Times, Chemistry in Britain and Chemistry and Engineering News.

Professor McCoy has given lectures at numerous international and national conferences. He compiled a policy document for the Royal Society by invitation and sat on an advisory panel to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and the Science Minister for the development of UK Government policy on spending on science.

He is an Editorial Board member of the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology and former member of the International Steering Committee for the Handbook of Pharmaceutical Excipients. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Advance HE, formerly the Higher Education Academy. 

His research is both fundamental and applied, with funders including EPSRC (6 major grants awarded since appointment), the Royal Society and global medical device companies.

For media enquiries, please contact the Communications Office at Queen’s University Belfast.

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