Robert Carlisle
BSc DPhil MSc
Associate Professor
Director of MSc in Nanotechnology for Medicine and Healthcare
Oxford Director of the CDT in Engineering Biology
Tel: 01865 617673
College: St Cross College
Location: Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Marcela Botnar Wing, Oxford OX3 7LD

Robert Carlisle is an Associate Professor in Biomedical Engineering. After completing a BSc in Biochemistry, an MSc in Toxicology and a Ph.D in Gene Delivery at Birmingham University, he worked for 8 years within the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and the Department of Oncology at the University of Oxford. In 2012 he became a member of the Engineering Science Faculty.

The majority of Bob’s work has been concerned with achieving systemic delivery of anti-cancer agents for the treatment of metastatic cancer. This has included the development and testing of novel nano-scale non-viral and viral gene delivery systems and liposomal agents for the delivery of conventional chemotherapeutics.

Research within his labs covers the full scope of therapeutic design, formulation and testing with emphasis on how the specificity and efficacy of therapy can be improved. He is the Director of the MSc in Nanotechnology for Medicine and Healthcare and was Associate Director of the Synthetic Biology CDT (2015-2022).

  • Design, formulation and testing of novel drug carriers
  • Improved understanding of tumour biology
  • Application of external stimuli for improved drug delivery to tumours
  • Transdermal delivery of drugs and vaccines
  • Clinical trials of device + drug combinations
  • Clinical and commercial translation of healthcare technologies

Professor Carlisle is the co-founder of and consultant to OxSonics Ltd, a company spun out from the Department of Engineering Science which delivers a novel drug delivery programme for oncology wards.

BUBBL Drug Delivery and Biomedical Ultrasonics Beyond Antibiotics

Ms Matilde Maardalen - DPhil Student


Combining the best drug formulation and carrier systems with the best most targeted external stimuli.


Use of formulation and external stimuli to drive vaccines and drugs into or across the skin.


Combining external stimuli with immunotherapy for solid tumour treatment

Beyond Antibiotics

Addressing antimicrobial resistance

Professor Carlisle is the recipient of the CRS Jorge Heller JCR Outstanding Paper Award 2016, for his paper Increasing the Density of Nanomedicines Improves Their Ultrasound-mediated Delivery to Tumours.

He is also one of the authors of the 2018 paper Safety and feasibility of ultrasound-triggered targeted drug delivery of doxorubicin from thermosensitive liposomes in liver tumours (TARDOX): a single-centre, open-label, phase 1 trial This detailed the results of a milestone study into the safety and feasibility of ultrasound devices used to enhance the delivery and distribution of anticancer drugs.

I am interested in supervising DPhil students working in vaccine formulation and delivery or solid tumour therapy.

Cavitation-Mediated Immunomodulation and Its Use with Checkpoint Inhibitors.
Maardalen M,  Carlisle R,  Coussios C,  et al. (2023)
Cavitation‐mediated Transcutaneous Delivery of Protein and Nucleotide‐based Antigen for Rapid High‐level Immune Responses
Hettinga JK,  Lyons B,  Balkaran J,  Rijal P,  Dunn‐Lawless D,  Caproni L,  Gray M,  Suslick KS,  Coussios CC,  Carlisle RC,  et al. (2023)
Clinical trial protocol for PanDox: a phase I study of targeted chemotherapy delivery to non-resectable primary pancreatic tumours using thermosensitive liposomal doxorubicin (ThermoDox®) and focused ultrasound
Spiers L,  Gray M,  Lyon P,  Sivakumar S,  Bekkali N,  Scott S,  Collins L,  Carlisle R,  Wu F,  Middleton M,  Coussios C-C,  et al. (2023)
Sonosensitive cavitation nuclei-a customisable platform technology for enhanced therapeutic delivery
Lyons B,  Balkaran JPR,  Dunn-Lawless D,  Lucian V,  Keller SB,  O'Reilly CS,  Hu L,  Rubasingham J,  Nair M,  Carlisle R,  Stride E,  Gray M,  Coussios C,  et al. (2023)
Thermosensitive liposomes: a promising step toward localised chemotherapy
Chaudhry M,  Lyon P,  Coussios C,  Carlisle R,  et al. (2022)
Improved therapeutic antibody delivery to xenograft tumors using cavitation nucleated by gas-entrapping nanoparticles
Grundy M,  Bau L,  Hill C,  Paverd C,  Mannaris C,  Kwan J,  Crake C,  Coviello C,  Coussios C,  Carlisle R,  et al. (2021)
Large-volume hyperthermia for safe and cost-effective targeted drug delivery using a clinical ultrasound-guided focused ultrasound device
Lyon PC,  Mannaris C,  Gray M,  Carlisle R,  Gleeson FV,  Cranston D,  Wu F,  Coussios CC,  et al. (2021)
In situ evaluation of spatiotemporal distribution of doxorubicin from Drug-eluting Beads in a tissue mimicking phantom
Caine M,  Bian S,  Tang Y,  Garcia P,  Henman A,  Dreher M,  Daly D,  Carlisle R,  Stride E,  Willis SL,  Lewis AL,  et al. (2021)
Quantifying cell death induced by doxorubicin, hyperthermia or HIFU ablation with flow cytometry
Lyon P,  Suomi V,  Jakeman P,  Campo L,  Coussios C,  Carlisle R,  et al. (2021)