Associate Professor Amirali Popat is a Fulbright Future Scholar and Director of Research at The University of Queensland’s (UQ) School of Pharmacy.

He has a Bachelor of Pharmacy and Master of Pharmacy (Gujarat University, India) and a PhD in Nanomedicine from the Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) UQ, 2012.

His research focuses on the development of stimuli responsive nanomaterials to overcome multiple biological barriers for precision medicine and development of personalised drug delivery systems using 3D printing for biomedical, veterinary, and agricultural applications. He has published over 100 papers and registered 3 patents in the last 10 years, while also winning many prestigious awards including the Journal of Nanobiotechnology’s rising star award, Fulbright Future Scholar award, UQ’s Faculty Higher Degree Research Award: Supervision, Controlled Release Society’s Early Career Researcher Award, and Queensland Young Tall Poppy Science Award.

What has your experience been like so far as a supervisor in the joint PhD program?

I have enjoyed the unique supervision arrangement between UQ and IITD. The joint PhD programme allows cross-pollination of complementary skills from two world-class institutions, allowing seamless collaborations. The program is well-structured with clear milestones and focuses on the development of world-class PhD graduates in key priority areas for both India and Australia.

How have you found the experience working with students and co-supervision with IITD researchers?

I am learning from supervisory teams in India and my interactions with their peers have created other opportunities for future projects. Most importantly, I am pleased with the quality of PhD students who have come through a highly competitive process. The program also offers flexibility in collaborative arrangements which provides better student experience and project outcomes.

What values or benefits does the joint PhD program bring to your work/research?

This program has brought two exceptionally talented researchers into my group in Australia. Their skills have benefited not only their own projects but mine as well. Diversity in science is key and these students have brought creativity, rigour and fresh perspectives to UQ, which is of benefit to everyone. 

Do you have any plans to extend collaboration with UQ/IITD collaborators beyond the joint PhD project?

Based on preliminary results we have collected through this program, we plan to apply for joint grants such as Australia India Strategic Research Funds (AISRF), Department of Biotechnology, Department of Science and Technology and NHMRC partnership grants with industry partners in India. We also plan to add additional students onto these projects as well as to increase the pool of researchers working in the areas of brain cancer and nanomedicine which is our present focus.