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Bob Carlisle Associate Professor

Associate Professor

Robert Carlisle BSc DPhil MSc

Associate Professor

Director of MSc in Nanotechnology for Medicine and Healthcare

Associate Director of Synthetic Biology CDT


Robert Carlisle is an Associate Professor in Biomedical Engineering. After completing a BSc in Biochemistry, an MSc in Toxicology and a Ph.D in Gene Delivery at Birmingham University, he worked for 8 years within the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and the Department of Oncology at the University of Oxford. In 2012 he became a member of the Engineering Science Faculty.

The majority of Bob’s work has been concerned with achieving systemic delivery of anti-cancer agents for the treatment of metastatic cancer. This has included the development and testing of novel nano-scale non-viral and viral gene delivery systems and liposomal agents for the delivery of conventional chemotherapeutics.

Research within his labs covers the full scope of therapeutic design, formulation and testing with emphasis on how the specificity and efficacy of therapy can be improved. He is the Director of the MSc in Nanotechnology for Medicine and Healthcare and the Associate Director of the Synthetic Biology CDT.

Key Papers

Professor Carlisle is the recipient of the CRS Jorge Heller JCR Outstanding Paper Award 2016, for his paper Increasing the Density of Nanomedicines Improves Their Ultrasound-mediated Delivery to Tumours.

He is also one of the authors of the 2018 paper Safety and feasibility of ultrasound-triggered targeted drug delivery of doxorubicin from thermosensitive liposomes in liver tumours (TARDOX): a single-centre, open-label, phase 1 trial This detailed the results of a milestone study into the safety and feasibility of ultrasound devices used to ennhance the delivery and distribution of anticancer drugs.


Research Interests

  • Design, formulation and testing of novel drug carriers
  • Improved understanding of tumour biology
  • Application of external stimuli for improved drug delivery to tumours
  • Transdermal delivery of drugs and vaccines
  • Clinical trials of device + drug combinations
  • Clinical and commercial translation of healthcare technologies

Professor Carlisle is the co-founder of and consultant to OxSonics Ltd, a company spun out from the Department of Engineering Science which delivers a novel drug delivery programme for oncology wards.

Current Projects


Combining the best drug formulation and carrier systems with the best most targeted external stimuli.

Transdermal Delivery

Use of formulation and external stimuli to drive vaccines and drugs into or across the skin.

DPhil Opportunities

I am interested in supervising DPhil students working in vaccine formulation and delivery.