Ayaat Mahmoud, mentee in the 2020-21 program in VIC (Monash University).

Ayaat is a PhD candidate at the faculty of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences, Monash University. Ayaat has a master’s of science degree in biotechnology focusing on nanomedicine. During this course, Ayaat researched to improve the delivery of a potent anticancer drug for the treatment of breast cancer at the Laboratory for Nanomedicine at Harvard Medical School, Harvard University. Since then, Ayaat has been appointed as a research assistant at the faculty of pharmacy, Monash University for 2017-2018 to work on different interdisciplinary projects.

Most therapeutics fail to treat such diseases not because they lack functionality but because they are incapable of reaching their molecular target in the neural diseased cell to produce the desired pharmacological action.The focus of Ayaat’s PhD project is to take these therapeutics and attach them to a smart delivery system, N-acylated poly(aminoesters) (NPAEs), which will carry therapeutics through the blood stream to release them in specific intracellular compartments in the diseased cells for maximum efficiency. These NPAEs are anionic carboxylated polymers that are highly functional systems, which allow fine-tuning of their properties and attachment of targeting molecules for highly selective delivery of therapeutic agents on a subcellular level and target specific organelles, such as mitochondria.

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