Martin gained his PhD at Edinburgh Napier University in 2009, in Nanoparticle In Vitro Toxicology, and spent the next 7.5 years in Switzerland conducting his post-doctoral research career before joining Swansea University Medical School in Dec 2015. 

Martin is motivated and enthusiastic, with core competence in particle and fibre toxicology. Martin’s research is focused on the nanoparticle-(mammalian)cell interaction, with a view to determining the mechanistic toxicological, immunological and genotoxic effects that nanoparticles, with varying physico-chemcial characteristics, may cause at the cellular level by using advanced, next-level in vitro systems combined with state-of-the-art microscopy and bioanalytical approaches. Special interests include the ability for nanoparticle geometry and surface properties to interfere with the human immune system and bloodstream. Another clear ambition of Martin's research is to create, study and promote alternative in vitro models that mimic in vivo environments to gain a mechanistic understanding of how nano-sized materials may, potentially, be adverse to human health. Special focus is also given to creating disease-based in vitro models and the role nanoparticles play in disease progression/exacerbation. 

In addition to his research interests, Martin is the Co-Director of Post-Graduate Research and Co-Chair of the SUMS Research Sub-Committee. Martin further supervises a number of PGR students at both the MSc and PhD level. Martin also actively contributes to teaching, on both the MSc Nanomedicine Taught Master's Programme as well the Genetics and Biochemistry Degree programmes.

Martin is Associate Edditor for the Journal of Nanobiotechnology, and an Editorial board member for Particle and Fibre Toxicology, Food and Chemical Toxicology, as well as Mutagenesis. Martin is the Deputy Chair and Secretary of the UK In Vitro Toxicology Society and is a panel member of the British Toxicology Society Sub-Committee. He is a Fellow of the European Respiratory Society (ERS Fellow), a Member of the Royal Society of Biology (MRSB), a Member of the UK Environmental Mutagenesis Society (UKEMS) and a panel member of the NC3Rs working group on Nanotoxicology. Martin has also been regularly contributing towards both National and International Conference organisation within the field of particle and fibre toxicology and in vitro systems.  

Areas of Expertise

  • Nanotoxicology
  • In Vitro Toxicology
  • Multi-cellular In Vitro Systems
  • Immunology
  • Nanoparticle-Cell Interactions
  • Microscopy
  • Air Pollution
  • Human Health Hazard Assessment
  • Lung
  • Air-Liquid Exposure Systems
  • Nanoscience
  • (Nano)Fibres


  1. & Human Asthmatic Bronchial Cells Are More Susceptible to Subchronic Repeated Exposures of Aerosolized Carbon Nanotubes At Occupationally Relevant Doses Than Healthy Cells. ACS Nano
  2. & A novel technique to determine the cell type specific response within an in vitro co-culture model via multi-colour flow cytometry. Scientific Reports 7(1)
  3. & The 3Rs as a framework to support a 21st century approach for nanosafety assessment. Nano Today 12, 10-13.
  4. & Critical review of the current and future challenges associated with advanced in vitro systems towards the study of nanoparticle (secondary) genotoxicity. Mutagenesis 32(1), 233-241.
  5. & An overview of nanoparticle biocompatibility for their use in Nanomedicine. In Cornier, Jean / Owen, Andrew / Kwade, Arno / Van de Voorde, Marcel (Ed.), Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology. (pp. 443-468). Wiley.

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  • PM-120 Genetic Analysis I

    This module will give assignments designed to develop skills in essay writing and oral presentations. It will also look at the principles and practice of internet searching for scientific sources.

  • PM-304 Biomolecular Research Project


  • PM-334 Biochemistry Literature Review and Communication

    Students will acquire a detailed knowledge of one topical research area of key importance to their particular degree scheme.

  • PM-M28 Nano(geno)toxicology

    Nano(geno)toxicology is a new discipline that has recently evolved with the development of the nanotechnology industry. This subject encompasses general toxicology associated with nanomaterials and also specifically focuses on the sub-discipline of genotoxicology. This course will therefore focus on, (I) the parameters of engineered nanomaterials that govern their interaction and influence on biological systems; (II) techniques that are central elements in assessing the safety evaluation of nanomaterials; (III) portals of entry into the body, their potential fate and the mechanisms that underlie cellular damage by nanomaterials.

  • PMND00 Nanomedicine Research Dissertation

    This module builds on the knowledge and skills developed in teaching components in part one of their relevant programme. Students will work independently in order to critically explore and add to the evidence base for a topic of relevance to their area of study within nanomedicine.


  • deducing the impact of engineered nanoparticles upon telomere length and function (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Martin Clift
    Other supervisor: Prof Shareen Doak
  • Mechanistic evaluation of the impact of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles conjugated with drugs (SPIONd) on intracellular signalling/homeostatic mechanisms (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Shareen Doak
    Other supervisor: Dr Martin Clift
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Shareen Doak
    Other supervisor: Dr Martin Clift
  • Correlating the Toxicity of Zinc Oxide Nanowires with Life Cycle Changes in Physical and Chemical Properties (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Mr Thierry Maffeis
    Other supervisor: Dr Martin Clift
  • Understanding the human health impacts of graphene-based nanomaterials under occupational exposure scenarios (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Martin Clift
    Other supervisor: Prof Shareen Doak

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Co-Director Post-Graduate Research and Co-Chair SUMS Research Su

    2017 - Present

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
September 2008 September 2010 Post-Doctoral Researcher Institute of Anatomy, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
October 2010 October 2011 European Respiratory Society Long-Term Research Fellow Department of Clinical Research, University Hospital Bern, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
November 2011 November 2012 Senior Research Associate BioNanomaterials, Adolphe Merkle Institute, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland
November 2012 November 2015 Scientific Group Leader BioNanomaterials, Adolphe Merkle Institute, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland
December 2015 February 2017 Lecturer Swansea University Medical School, Swansea, Wales, UK
March 2017 Present Senior Lecturer Swansea University Medical School, Swansea, Wales, UK

Collaborative Partners

Partner Name Description
Unilever SEAC Collaboration via funded PhD studentship on advanced in vitro models

Academic History

Date Qualification Location
July 2004 BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
July 2009 Doctor of Philosophy Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland, UK

External Responsibilities