Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Dr Helena Kelly

Helena Kelly

Dr Helena Kelly BSc (Pharm), Dip (Quality Improvement), PhD, MPSI
Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutics
Tel: +353 1 402 8595

Dr Helena Kelly is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Pharmacy and a Principal Investigator in the Tissue Engineering Research Group (TERG) at RCSI. Helena graduated with a BSc (Pharm) from Trinity College, Dublin (TCD) and subsequently carried out PhD research in TCD in the area of formulation science, with a particular emphasis on hydrogels. After completing her PhD, she spent 8 years in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry initially working in the area of process development, and latterly in project management roles related to third party contract manufacturing. She gained experience across a wide range of areas including pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical production, scale up, technology transfer, contract manufacture, clinical trial manufacture and the regulatory approval process. She returned to academia in 2008, when she was appointed Lecturer in Pharmaceutics in the School of Pharmacy, RCSI. From January 2012 to March 2014 she was seconded as Project Manager for the establishment of the Irish Institute of Pharmacy (IIoP). Since her return, Helena has been promoted to Senior Lecturer in the School of Pharmacy. Helena is the co-founder of Duffy Kelly Labs.

Research Interests
Hydrogel platforms for drug delivery and tissue engineering application with a particular focus on clinical translation.

The ChemoGel hydrogel platform for locoregional delivery to solid tumours aims to achieve targeted chemotherapy, with pancreatic cancer the lead clinical indication. ChemoGel development has been funded to date with support from an Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund.

DRIVE (Diabetes Reversing Implants for enhanced Viability and long term Efficacy)
DRIVE is a consortium of academic and industrial partners, which has received funding from Horizon 2020 (Grant Agreement no. 645991) in order to develop a bio-artificial pancreas to improve pancreatic islet transplant therapy for diabetes mellitus. DRIVE will develop a suite of functional biomaterials (ß-Gel) for long term clinical efficacy of transplanted pancreatic islets and will facilitate minimally invasive delivery of ß-Gel inside a protective ß-Shell using a specialised delivery catheter (ß-Cath). Dr. Kelly's research group is responsible for the development of β-gel and facilitating its integration with the β-shell.

AMCARE (Advanced Materials for Cardiac Regeneration)
The AMCARE project (2013-2017) was a consortium of academic and industrial partners, which received funding from the 7th European Union (EU) Framework Programme (grant agreement no. 604531) to develop regenerative therapeutics for the treatment of myocardial infarction (MI).

Professional Committees
Advisory Committee for Veterinary Medicines, Health Products Regulatory Authority.

A collagen cardiac patch incorporating alginate microparticles permits the controlled release of hepatocyte growth factor and insulin-like growth factor-1 to enhance cardiac stem cell migration and proliferation. O'Neill, H. S. O'Sullivan, J. Porteous, N. Ruiz-Hernandez, E. Kelly, H. M., O'Brien, F. J., Duffy, G. P. Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine 12(1) e384-e394, 2018. DOI: 10.1002/term.2392.

A methylcellulose and collagen based temperature responsive hydrogel promotes encapsulated stem cell viability and proliferation in vitro. Payne, C., Dolan, E. B., O'Sullivan, J., Cryan, S. A., Kelly, H. M. Drug Delivery and Translational Research 7(1) 132-146, 2017. DOI: 10.1007/s13346-016-0347-2.

A stimuli responsive liposome loaded hydrogel provides flexible on-demand release of therapeutic agents. O'Neill, H. S., Herron, C. C., Hastings, C. L., Deckers, R., Lopez Noriega, A., Kelly, H. M., Hennink, W. E., McDonnell, C. O., O'Brien, F. J., Ruiz-Hernández, E., Duffy, G. P. Acta Biomaterialia 48, 110-119, 2017. DOI: 10.1016/j.actbio.2016.10.001.

Biomaterial-Enhanced Cell and Drug Delivery: Lessons Learned in the Cardiac Field and Future Perspectives. Hugh S O'Neill, Laura B Gallagher, Janice O'Sullivan, William Whyte, Clive Curley, Eimear Dolan, Aamir Hameed, Joanne O'Dwyer, Christina Payne, Daniel O'Reilly, Eduardo Ruiz-Hernandez, Ellen T Roche, Fergal J O'Brien, Sally Ann Cryan, Helena Kelly, Bruce Murphy, Garry P Duffy Advanced Materials 5648-5661, February 2016. DOI: 10.1002/adma.201505349.

Development of collagen-hydroxyapatite scaffolds incorporating PLGA and alginate microparticles for the controlled delivery of rhBMP-2 for bone tissue engineering. Quinlan, E., López-Noriega, A., Thompson, E., Kelly, H. M., Cryan, S. A., O'Brien, F. J. Journal of Controlled Release 198, 71-79, 2015 DOI: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2014.11.021.

Spatiotemporal delivery of small molecule therapeutics using a thermosensitive liposome loaded hydrogel. H O'Neill, C Herron, C Hastings, A Lopez-Noriega, HM Kelly, FJ O'Brien, E Ruiz-Hernandez, GP Duffy. Journal of Controlled Release 213; e28, 2015.

Enhanced delivery of microRNA mimics to cardiomyocytes using ultrasound responsive microbubbles reverses hypertrophy in an in-vitro model. Gill, S. L., O'Neill, H., McCoy, R. J., Logeswaran, S., O'Brien, F., Stanton, A., Kelly, H., Duffy, G. P. Technology and Health Care 22(1), 37-51, 2014. DOI: 10.3233/THC-130772.

Supramolecular hydrogels with reverse thermal gelation properties from (oligo)tyrosine containing block copolymers. J. Huang, C. Hastings; G.P. Duffy, H.M. Kelly, J. Raeburn, D. Adams, A. Heise; Biomacromolecules 14 (1), 200-206, 2013. DOI: 10.1021/bm301629f.

Development of a thermoresponsive chitosan gel combined with human mesenchymal stem cells and desferrioxamine as a multimodal pro-angiogenic therapeutic for the treatment of critical limb ischemia. Conn L. Hastings, H.M. Kelly, M.J. Murphy, F.P. Barry, F.J. O'Brien, G.P. Duffy; J. Control. Rel. 161 (1), 2012.

Formulation and preliminary in vivo dog studies of a novel drug delivery system for the treatment of periodontitis. Kelly, H. M. Deasy, P. B. Ziaka, E. Claffey, N. Int. J. Pharm. 274 (1-2), 2004.

Bioadhesive, rheological, lubricant and other aspects of an oral gel formulation intended for the treatment of xerostomia. Kelly, H. M. Deasy, P. B., Busquet, M., Torrance, A. A. Int. J. Pharm. 278 (2), 2004.