Dr Elena Polycarpou


I obtained my BSc and MSc degrees in Medical Biochemistry and Cancer Biology respectively before completing my PhD at Kingston University London in 2013 where I investigated the effects and potential targets of the natural product, resveratrol and its metabolites on colorectal cancer growth. My postdoctoral work conducted in the Edith Sim laboratory involved identifying novel targets for antimicrobial therapeutics in M. tuberculosis (aiming to develop inhibitors of the protein, HsaD involved in the cholesterol metabolism pathway) and the development of novel strategies to overcome the bacterial infection caused by P. aeruginosa (focusing on the azoreductase family of enzymes found ubiquitously in bacteria).  

I joined the teaching team at Kingston in 2014 where I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and hold a Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. In my role as an academic, I was Deputy Course Leader for Biochemistry (2018-2021) and module leader of LS4003 Scientific and Laboratory Skills (core module for the majority of the courses in the Department of Biomolecular Sciences and Applied & Human Sciences) for several years before becoming module leader of LS5002 Proteins and Metabolism in the academic year 2020/21. 

I have been a member and working group lead of the School's Athena Swan self-assessment team since 2016 for which we received Bronze recognition in 2017 with ongoing roles, responsibilities and duties to present. In addition to Learning & Teaching and Research, I am interested in being involved in public engagement and outreach/widening participation and have co-organised and run the pilot National Science and Engineering Saturday Club (led by Prof. Edith Sim) in association with the Sorrel Foundation and was co-organiser of Cafe Scientifique Kingston. 

Academic responsibilities

Senior Lecturer in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry


  • 2016: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • 2009-2013: PhD Cancer Biology, Kingston University London
  • 2008-2009: MSc Cancer Biology
  • 2005-2008: BSc (Hons) Medical Biochemistry

Teaching and learning

Academic Impact Awards

2014: Best Project/Dissertation Supervisor Award (Nomination), Kingston University London

Undergraduate courses taught


Current Research Students

1) MSc by Research: Cocaine induces morphological microstructural changes of cardiac tissues. Implications for cardiac fibrosis. Research Student: Pola Sobiecka.

Supervisory Team: E Polycarpou, J Fletcher, J Bennett. 

2) PhD: The role of cannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids as a mediator of actin cytoskeletal rearrangement and matrix protein deposition in cardiac cells. Research Student: Ayse Merve Orme.

Supervisory Team: B Rooney, E Polycarpou, J Bennett & S Lawton.

3) PhD: Screening and evaluating the effect of pharmaceutical excipients on the pharmacokinetics of therapeutic agents. Research Student: Rahulkumar Patel.

Supervisory Team: A Elshaer, E Polycarpou & J Barker.

4) PhD: Profiling wild-type and FGFR inhibitor drug resistant cervical cancer cell lines. Research Student: Nauf Bou Antoun. Supervisory Team: A-M Chioni, T Walker & E Polycarpou.

Successful Completions:

1) PhD: Investigating the involvement of FGFR signalling in human cervical cancer cell lines. Research Student: Hiba Mahmood.

Supervisory Team: A-M Chioni, T Walker & E Polycarpou.

2) MSc by Research: The phenotypic effect of cocaine on cardiomyocyte cells and implications for cytoskeletal dynamics: an exploratory investigation for narcotic drug mediated organ fibrogenesis. Research Student: Avnish Verma.

Supervisory Team: B Rooney, E Polycarpou & J Bennett.

3) MSc by Research: Studying the metabolism of Tartazine by the gut microbiota. Research Student: Gemma Hoynes. Supervisory Team:  E Polycarpou,  A Ryan, G Forster-Wilkins and E Opara

4) PhD: Smart nano-capsules for targeted anti-cancer drug delivery. Research Student: Anna Caprifico. Supervisory Team: G Calabrese, E Polycarpou &  P Foot.

Research student supervision


Jump to: Article
Number of items: 16.


Caprifico, Anna E., Foot, Peter J.S., Polycarpou, Elena and Calabrese, Gianpiero (2022) Advances in chitosan-based CRISPR/Cas9 delivery systems. Pharmaceutics, 14(9), p. 1840. ISSN (online) 1999-4923

Orme Merve, Ayse, Sobiecka, Pola, Remeškevičius, Vytautas, Taylor, Luke, Saskoy, Lili, Lawton, Scott, Jones, Ben P., Elwakeel, Ahmed, Mackenzie, Francesca E., Polycarpou, Elena, Bennett, Jason and Rooney, Brian (2022) Metabolites of cannabis induce cardiac toxicity and morphological alterations in cardiac myocytes. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23(3), p. 1401. ISSN (print) 1661-6596

Sherif Amer, Sandra, Mamdouh, Wael, Nasr, Maha, ElShaer, Amr, Polycarpou, Elena, Abdel-Aziz, Rasha T.A. and Sammour, Omaima A. (2022) Quercetin loaded cosm-nutraceutical electrospun composite nanofibers for acne alleviation : preparation, characterization and experimental clinical appraisal. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 612, p. 121309. ISSN (print) 0378-5173

Caprifico, Anna E., Foot, Peter J.S., Polycarpou, Elena and Calabrese, Gianpiero (2021) Overcoming the protein corona in chitosan-based nanoparticles. Drug Discovery Today, 26(8), pp. 1825-1840. ISSN (print) 1359-6446

Kyriakou, Ismini, Yarandi, Niousha and Polycarpou, Elena (2021) Efficacy of cannabinoids against glioblastoma multiforme : a systematic review. Phytomedicine, 88, p. 153533. ISSN (print) 0944-7113

Verma, Avnish, Orme Merve, Ayse, Remeskevicius, Vytautas, Sobiecka, Pola, Taylor, Luke, Lawton, Scott, Jones, Ben P., Polycarpou, Elena, Bennett, Jason and Rooney, Brian (2021) Cocaine induces cytoskeletal changes in cardiac myocytes : implications for cardiac morphology. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22(5), p. 2263. ISSN (print) 1661-6596

Caprifico, Anna E., Polycarpou, Elena, Foot, Peter J. S. and Calabrese, Gianpiero (2021) Biomedical and pharmacological uses of fluorescein isothiocyanate chitosan-based nanocarriers. Macromolecular Bioscience, 21(1), p. 2000312. ISSN (print) 1616-5187

Caprifico, Anna E., Foot, Peter J.S., Polycarpou, Elena and Calabrese, Gianpiero (2020) Overcoming the blood-brain barrier : functionalised chitosan nanocarriers. Pharmaceutics, 12(11), p. 1013. ISSN (online) 1999-4923

Caprifico, Anna E., Polycarpou, Elena, Foot, Peter J. S. and Calabrese, Gianpiero (2020) Fluorescein isothiocyanate chitosan nanoparticles in oral drug delivery studies. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 41(10), pp. 686-689. ISSN (print) 0165-6147

Amer, Sandra Sherif, Nasr, Maha, Abdel-Aziz, Rasha T.A., Moftah, Noha H., Elshaer, Amr, Polycarpou, Elena, Mamdouh, Wael and Sammour, Omaima (2020) Cosm-nutraceutical nanovesicles for acne treatment : physicochemical characterization and exploratory clinical experimentation. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 577, p. 119092. ISSN (print) 0378-5173

Verma, Avnish, Bennett, Jason, Orme, Ayse Merve, Polycarpou, Elena and Rooney, Brian (2019) Cocaine addicted to cytoskeletal change and a fibrosis high. Cytoskeleton, 76(2), pp. 177-185. ISSN (print) 1949-3584

Hassanin, Hany, Al-Kinani, Ali, ElShaer, Amr, Polycarpou, Elena, El-Sayed, Mahmoud Ahmed and Essa, Khamis (2017) Stainless steel with tailored porosity using canister-free hot isostatic pressing for improved osseointegration implants. Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 5(47), pp. 9384-9394. ISSN (print) 2050-750X

Ryan, Ali, Polycarpou, Elena, Lack, Nathan A., Evangelopoulos, Dimitrios, Sieg, Christian, Halman, Alice, Bhakta, Sanjib, Eleftheriadou, Olga, McHugh, Timothy D., Keany, Sebastian, Lowe, Edward D., Ballet, Romain, Abuhammad, Areej, Jacobs Jr., William R., Ciulli, Alessio and Sim, Edith (2017) Investigation of the mycobacterial enzyme HsaD as a potential novel target for anti-tubercular agents using a fragment-based drug design approach. British Journal of Pharmacology, 174(14), pp. 2209-2224. ISSN (print) 0007-1188

Crescente, Vincenzo, Holland, Sinead, Kashyap, Sapna, Polycarpou, Elena, Sim, Edith and Ryan, Ali (2016) Identification of novel members of the bacterial azoreductase family in 'Pseudomonas aeruginosa'. Biochemical Journal, 473(5), pp. 549-558. ISSN (print) 0264-6021

Ryan, Ali, Kaplan, Elise, Nebel, Jean-Christophe, Polycarpou, Elena, Crescente, Vincenzo, Lowe, Edward, Preston, Gail M and Sim, Edith (2014) Identification of NAD(P)H Quinone Oxidoreductase Activity in Azoreductases from P. aeruginosa: Azoreductases and NAD(P)H Quinone Oxidoreductases Belong to the Same FMN-Dependent Superfamily of Enzymes. PloS ONE, 9(6), e98551. ISSN (online) 1932-6203

Polycarpou, Elena, Meira, Lisiane B, Carrington, Simon, Tyrrell, Elizabeth, Modjtahedi, Helmout and Carew, Mark A (2013) Resveratrol 3-O-d-glucuronide and resveratrol 4'-O-d-glucuronide inhibit colon cancer cell growth: Evidence for a role of A3 adenosine receptors, cyclin D1 depletion, and G1 cell cycle arrest. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 57(10), pp. 1708-1717. ISSN (print) 1613-4125

This list was generated on Sat Apr 13 06:51:47 2024 BST.

Professional practice, knowledge exchange and impact

School Athena Swan self-assessment team member (2016-present):

  • Bronze Award Application 
  • Silver Award Application (in progress)

Impact Nominations:

  • National Saturday Science & Engineering Club (Nomination), The Rose Awards (Kingston University London) (2015)

Professional and scholarly affiliations

  • Member, Royal Society of Biology
  • Fellow, Advance HE

Leadership and management

Aurora (Advance HE): October 2021-March 2022

Deputy Course Leader: BSc (Honours) Biochemistry - August 2018- December 2021

Module Leader: LS4003 Scientific and Laboratory Skills - 2016- 2020

Module Leader: LS5002 Proteins and Metabolism- 2020- present

Qualifications and expertise

  • Fellow of Advance HE (formerly Higher Education Academy)