Research Network for Metals in Medicine



Dr Linda Harris

Position: National Science Foundation International Research Fellow

Affiliation: School of Physics and the School of Biomedical and Chemical Sciences, University of Western Australia

Postal Address:
School of Physics
The University of Western Australia
35 Stirling Highway
Crawley WA 6009

Phone: +61 (08) 6488 2724
Fax: +61 (08) 6488 1014

Research Profile

Dr Linda A. Harris’ most significant contribution to the field of polymer chemistry to date has been the synthesis of hydrophilic biocompatible triblock copolymers designed to bind to the surface of iron oxide nanoparticles. This research was initiated by Harris during her thesis studies at Virginia Tech. During this time Harris led a small group of students working on the project with an overall goal focused on the design of magnetic field directable, biodegradeable microspheres containing therapeutic agents for drug delivery.

Recently, Dr. Harris wrote a successful proposal to the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) and was one of 30 selected to receive a fellowship granted from over 250 applicants. The highly prestigous NSF International Research Program Fellowship (NSF-IFRP) was awarded to Dr. Harris specifically to work with Prof. Tim St Pierre at the University of Western Australia (UWA) in the School of Physics. This 18-month research international, interdisciplinary collaboration has allowed Dr Harris the unique opportunity to work with physicists that are experts in the area of understanding magnetism of iron oxide nanoparticles. Dr Harris has contributed to the project by bringing her knowledge and expertise in synthetic polymer chemistry. Harris is a one of few synthetic polymer chemists working in Western Australia and the sole polymer researcher at the University of Western Australia.

Since her arrival in Perth in June 2002, she has successfully set up her own polymer synthesis chemistry lab in the School of Biomedical and Chemical Sciences, and managed her research project and $53,800 (USD) research grant. Her current work involves the synthesis of amphiphilic diblock copolymers to serve as polymer templates for iron oxide nanoparticle formation.

Selected Publications

  1. Harris, L., J. D. Goff, A. Y. Carmichael, J. S. Riffle, J. J. Harburn, T. G. St. Pierre and M. Saunders. Magnetite Nanoparticle Dispersions Stabilized with Triblock Copolymers. Chemistry of Materials, (in press), accepted December 2002.
  2. Rutnakornpituk,M., M.Thompson, L.Harris, K.Farmer, A. Esker, J. Riffle, Formation of Cobalt Nanoparticle Dispersions in the Presence of Polysiloxane Block Copolymers. Polymer, 43, 2337-2348, 2002.