Skip to main content
Mark Gumbleton

Professor Mark Gumbleton

Professor of Experimental Therapeutics and Head of School, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

+44 29208 75449
Redwood Building, Room Room 2.20, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3NB


Following undergraduate studies in Pharmacy and completion of professional registration, I undertook postgraduate studies and fellowships in Clinical Pharmacology and Biopharmaceutics at the University of Aberdeen Medical School, Cardiff University School of Pharmacy and the Medical Centre at the University of California, San Francisco.

After this I was appointed to the academic staff at the Universities of Strathclyde and Glasgow. Back in the USA I spent time as a visiting researcher at GeneMedicine Inc. before taking up an academic appointment at Cardiff University where I currently hold a professorial appointment.

Research activities include understanding at the whole body, tissue, cellular and molecular levels the interaction of experimental therapeutics with biological barriers, particularly the blood-brain-barrier. In experimental therapeutics I have a particular interest in cancer therapeutics with respect to brain tumours.


  • Graduated BPharm (1982)
  • Ph.D (1988) Biochemical Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics (University of Wales)
  • Professional Registration RPSGB (1983)
  • Clinical Pharmacology specialisation (M.Sc) School of Medicine University of Aberdeen (1985)
  • Postdoctoral fellowship and Research Specialist appointments in Biopharmaceutics and Clinical Pharmacology (University of California, San Francisco 1998-1992)


























Book sections


Research interests

Hypothesis-driven science surrounding issues at the interface between the nature of biological barriers and experimental therapeutics.

The laboratory maintains a wide range of techniques ranging from cell and molecular biology through to ex-vivo and in-vivo models to address the scientific issues.

There are two principle areas within the laboratory's research strategy: blood-brain-barrier and in the developing area of brain tumour research.


In collaboration with Professor Geoff Pilkington at the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at Portsmouth University the laboratory in Cardiff is undertaking  brain tumour research, with particular  focus on gliomas and the cancer stem cell phenotype.

Malignant gliomas display an ability to invade into healthy brain tissue and to resist drug and radiation treatments. The features of advanced glioma suggest this tumour type possesses enhanced cancer stem cell (CSC)-like characteristics.

The CSC  theory considers tumours to comprise heterogeneous cell populations with varying capacities for self-renewal, proliferation and invasion. One or more  of these subpopulations act as cancer-initiating cells responsible for tumour initiation and perpetuation. The specific targeting of CSCs offers the potential to effectively eliminate tumours of drug-resistant and metastatic cell populations.

Blood Brain Barrier

In collaboration with major European networks and industry this area of work is focused  on biological barriers and specifically the blood-brain-barrier (BBB).  The lab is involved in exploring the interactions of the cell types within the neurovascular unit, and determining mechanisms by which therapeutic macromolecules, peptides and supramolecular structures, e.g. nanoparticles, may permeate the BBB to access  brain parenchyma.  This includes the design novel entities.

Current research projects

Title Investigator(s) Funded Dates Amount (£)
Mucus permeating nanoparticulate drug delivery systems (ALEXANDER) Prof M Gumbleton (PHRMY) (PI) Commission of the European Communities 01/03/12 - 28/04/16 £179,162
Caveolin-1 and Glioma Tumour Initiator Cells Prof M Gumbleton (PHRMY) (PI) Cancer Research Wales 01/10/14 - 01/10/18 £114,896
Needle-free administration and targeted delivery of biophamaceuticals through smart engineering and novel formulations Prof M Gumbleton (CI) Commission of the European Communities 01/11/12 - 31/10/17 £171,418


Current teaching profile

  • PH1121  Molecule to patient
  • PH1122  The role of the pharmacist in professional practice
  • PH1125  Chemical and biological propertiesof drug molecules
  • PH2110  Clinical & professionalpharmacy
  • PH2203  Drug disposition
  • PH3110  Optimisation of pharmaceutical care
  • PH3113  Diseases and drugs II
  • PH3202  Research methodology
  • PH4116  Pharmacy research or scholarship project
  • PH4118  Pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacy practice and the patient


Currently Executive Editor for Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, a journal publishing high quality thematic reviews on a wide range of Advanced Drug Delivery topics.

Also on the editorial board of the Journal of Drug Targeting and International Journal of Nanomedicine.

I have published over:

  • 90 full-length peer reviewed research publications
  • 20 journal series, authored textbook chapters or edited books
  • 116 conference abstracts or editorials.

I have supervised 25 successful PhD students and 24 postdoctoral/visiting scientists.

I have served on a number of pan-European scientific steering committees in drug delivery and as organiser/ scientific programme organiser for International scientific meetings. I also serve as a consultant to pharmaceutical industry in USA and UK and is Director of Research at the    School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Cardiff University.


Current supervision

Dalal Alablani

Dalal Alablani

Research student