Miss Emma Collins

Research project: Design and synthesis of novel iron chelators as a therapy for thalassaemia patients


Iron overload can be a huge issue for people coping with thalassaemia. This project will involve the synthesis of novel ion chelators that are effective and ultimately exhibit less side-effects of existing treatments.

Analytical methods will be developed in order measure levels of iron sequestration in water (model system) and biological fluid. Computational chemistry techniques will also be used to help design proof-of-concept compounds.


I attended Kingston University 2015-2018 for my BSc degree in Genetics and Molecular Biology.

As part of my BSc, I went on an Erasmus placement to Malta for several months during the summer of 2017. There I was attached to the Genetics Department of the University of Malta, focused on the national screening programme for thalassaemia and other genetic blood disorders.

After some years at Imperial College School of Medicine on the Graduate Entry pathway, I rejoined Kingston University to undertake a PhD project in novel drug design. The drug being designed will be used for iron chelation (a major aspect of managing thalassaemia) so my Erasmus experience has given me a thorough understanding of the mechanisms of haemoglobin disorders, chelation, and the issues faced by people with thalassaemia when undergoing chelation therapy.

Areas of research interest

  • Novel Drug Design
  • Novel Drug Synthesis
  • Computational Chemistry
  • Iron Chelation


  • BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (Genetics and Molecular Biology) Kingston University

Funding or awards received

  • Meesha Patel Faculty Prize