Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Dr Christopher O'Kane

Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Life Sciences
Areas of Expertise:
Microbiology , Molecular diagnostics , Molecular techniques
Research Supervision:

Chris is a HCPC registered biomedical scientist with experience in medical microbiology diagnostics. He has also conducted research projects involving DNA nanotechnology, cancer biology and pharmaceutical nanoscience.

[email protected]


Chris completed his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences at Ulster University achieving a first class honors degree. As part of his undergraduate course, he also undertook a co-terminus multidisciplinary placement within the biomedical laboratories of the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. This gained Chris experience in the pathology disciplines of immunology, medical microbiology, cellular pathology and clinical biochemistry. For this he was awarded a diploma in professional practice (pathology) with commendation and a certificate of competence from the IBMS and became a HCPC registered Biomedical Scientist. 

After spending some time working in the medical microbiology department of the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, Chris returned to Ulster University to complete his PhD within the Biomedical Sciences Research Institute (BMSRI). His PhD was on the rational design and assembly of non-canonical DNA structures, in particular, G-Wires formed from quadruplex DNA. This allowed him to develop his interest in nanotechnology and photonics towards the development of biomedical nanodevices. 

Chris then took on a postdoctoral research position at Ulster focusing on nanoscience techniques for cancer therapeutics before joining Anglia Ruskin University in September 2016.

Research interests
  • Development of Novel Therapeutics for Antimicrobial Resistance
  • Nanotechnology towards Development of Theranostic Devices

BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science with Foundation Year
Module Leader for Physical Principles

BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science
Module Leader for Mathematics for the Biosciences
Contributes to Diagnostic Techniques in Pathology
Contributes to Specialist Topics in Biomedical Science
Contributes to Microbial Pathogenicity
Contributes to Principles of Pathology
Contributes to Core Biology 1 & 2
Contributes to General Microbiology

MSc Biomedical Science (Distance Learning)
Module Leader for Biomedical Specialisms 2


PgCert in Learning and Teaching (Higher Education) - Anglia Ruskin University (2017)
PhD in DNA Nanotechnology - Ulster University (2016)
2nd Diploma in CPD (Continued Professional Development) - IBMS (2016)
1st Diploma in CPD - IBMS (2013)
BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science - Ulster University (2012)
Diploma in Professional Practice (Pathology) - Ulster University (2012)
Certificate of Competence - IBMS (2012)

Memberships, editorial boards

Fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Science (FIBMS)
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
Member of the Royal Society of Biology (MRSB)
Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC)
Member of the Institute of Physics (MInstP)

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

IBMS Albert Norman Trust Fund - £500 - (2018)
Biochemical Society Diversity in Science Grant - £550 - (2018)
Wellcome Trust Vacation Studentship - £2000 - (2018)
RIDO Undergraduate Taster Placement Fund - Anglia Ruskin University - £2000 - (2018) 
Wellcome Trust Vacation Studentship - £2000 - (2017)
RIDO Undergraduate Taster Placement Fund - Anglia Ruskin University - £2000 - (2017)
Vice Chancellor Research Studentship - Ulster University - (2012-2015)
All Ireland Schools of Pharmacy Conference Presentation Prize (2015)

Selected recent publications

Sheng, Y., Beguin, E., Nesbitt, H., Kamila, S., Owen, J., Barnsley, L.C., Callan, B., O'Kane, C., Nomikou, N., Hamoudi, R. and Taylor, M.A., 2017. Magnetically responsive microbubbles as delivery vehicles for targeted sonodynamic and antimetabolite therapy of pancreatic cancer. Journal of Controlled Release, 262, pp.192-200.

Karsisiotis, A.I., O’Kane, C. and da Silva, M.W., 2013. DNA quadruplex folding formalism–A tutorial on quadruplex topologies. Methods, 64(1), pp.28-35.

Recent presentations and conferences

RSC Chemical Nanosciences and Nanotechnology Network Meeting. Keele, 2017 - Poster Presentation Entitled: Designed Bottom-up Self-Assembly of DNA Nanowires towards Enhanced Photophysical Properties. Christopher  E  O’Kane, Mateus Webba da Silva.

All-Ireland Schools of Pharmacy Conference. Belfast, 2015 - Oral Presentation Entitled: Rational  Design  and  Assembly  of  G-Wires  for Biomedical Nanodevices. Christopher  E  O’Kane, Mateus Webba da Silva (Best Oral Presentation Award).

Functional DNA Nanotechnology Conference (fdn). Rome, 2014 - Oral Presentation Entitled: Enhanced  Intrinsic  Fluorescence  of  G-Wires.  Christopher  E  O’Kane, Mateus Webba da Silva.

Foundations of Nanoscience Conference (FNANO). Utah, 2014 - Poster  Presentation  Entitled: Designed  Self-Assembly  of  G-Wires  from  Short Bimolecular Quadruplex Sub-units.  Christopher  E  O’Kane, Mateus Webba da Silva.

All-IrelandSchools of Pharmacy Conference. Belfast, 2013 - Poster  Presentation  Entitled:  Novel  Methodology  for  the  Synthesis  of  Long Monomolecular G-Wires. Christopher  E  O’Kane, Mateus Webba da Silva.