Centre for Synthetic Biology and the Bioeconomy

Staff Profile

Dr Philip Manning



My research is based on the development and application of novel sensor technologies to address unmet clinical need. I have significant involvement in projects that integrate optical and amperometric sensor technologies with cell and tissue-based models of disease processes. The objective of this work is to gain a greater understanding of the pathophysiology associated with disease pathways and subsequently devise effective intervention strategies.

Research areas include:

a) The development of novel optically-based sensor technology to enhance intraoperative surgical precision during cancer surgery.

b) The targeted use of Conjugated Polymer Nanoparticles (CPN) as a site selective tumour therapy.

c) The development of new drug screening platforms using hepatocytes derived from pancreatic progenitor cells.

This work is undertaken in partnership with academic and clinical colleagues and it is focus on translational impact. Industrial partnerships such as Stream Bio – (Sedgefield, UK), Sagitto – (Hamilton, New Zealand) and Cassinian Software – (Arizona, USA) continue to support the development of this research and will be vital in the eventual commercialisation of this technology.

I am a member of the Newcastle Molecular Pathology Node management board. A key tenet of the Node is to drive advances in molecular pathology by closely collaborating with partners in academia, the NHS and industry.

I lead the Node’s Biomedical Engineering strand. Work is focussed on combining innovative sensor developments with advances in molecular photonics to enable the real-time, intraoperative detection of tumour margins during cancer surgery. This work aims to improve surgical accuracy and maximise the chances of a successful outcome for the patient without the need for adjuvant therapies.

I work within the Stratified Medicine, Biomarkers and Therapeutics strand of the Institute of Cellular Medicine. I am also a member of the Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologies (DTT) research group.


Selected Research Funding


  • EPSRC/MRC: ‘Molecular Pathology Node’. Funding Awarded £3.4M – (Co Investigator) 2015-2019
  • EPSRC Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration (IRC): ‘Early-Warning Sensing Systems for Infectious Diseases.’ Funding awarded £11.1M - (Co-Investigator) 2013-2018
  • European Commission (Framework 7): ‘ICT-Enabled, Cellular Artificial Liver System Incorporating Personalised Patient Management and Support’ Funding Awarded €10.9 Million - (Co-Investigator) 2011-2015
  • EPSRC Nano Grand Challenge in Healthcare: Detecting infectious organisms: A concerted approach using genomics, molecular engineering and nano-enabled bio-MEMS technologies (AptaMEMS-ID)’ Funding Awarded £1.82 Million – (Co-Investigator) 2009-2012
  • European Commission (Framework 7): ‘Coeliac Disease Management, Monitoring and Diagnosis using Biosensors and an Integrated Chip System (CD-MEDICS). Funding awarded €10Million over 48 months – (Co-Investigator) 2008-2012


My teaching commitments relate to the Medical Biotechnology module of the Biomedical Sciences degree programme. Lecture material covers fundamental concepts associated with the design and development of biosensors. There is also a strong translational focus with particular emphasis on the development of sensor technology to address currently unmet clinical need.