Dr Alaa Elbetany

Dr Alaa Elbetany

Lecturer in Organic and Materials Chemistry

Faculty and Department

  • Faculty of Science and Engineering
  • School of Natural Sciences

Qualifications

  • BSc
  • MSc
  • PhD / DPhil (Cardiff University)

Summary

Alaa Elbetany is an academic and industrial researcher with a PhD in synthetic organic materials and polymer chemistry, which he obtained in 2011 under the supervision of Professor Neil B. McKeown at Cardiff University. After completing his PhD, he pursued his research career by undertaking various research visitor and postdoctoral positions. During this time, he worked with Dr Hongyun Tai at Bangor University to explore controlled living polymerization techniques, with Professor Graham Hutchings at Cardiff Catalysis Institute at Cardiff University to investigate heterogeneous catalysis, and with Professor Andy Cooper at the University of Liverpool to delve into porous organic cage materials.

After spending three years working in the industry with many global companies through Open Innovation Platforms, Alaa gained valuable experience in scientific consultations and knowledge exchange. In addition, he was involved in various interdisciplinary R&D projects and developed new polymer formulations currently used in the market. In 2018, Alaa returned to academia as a Wellcome Trust ISSF Research Fellow and collaborated with Professors Mark Gumbleton and Keith Harding at Cardiff University, in addition to receiving competitive grants and awards from MIT, USA-EG, and Cardiff University.

Throughout his career, Alaa has worked in various areas of materials science, including chemical synthesis, polymer science, porous materials, and digital and automation chemistry. In 2023, he was appointed a Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at the School of Natural Sciences at the University of Hull, where he established his research group. His research interests focus on synthetic chemistry and accelerating new smart-functional materials discovery for unmet medical needs, biomedical applications, and industrial and environmental challenges. Also, Alaa is passionate about interactive educational technologies and customized student learning paths. He is also a STEM ambassador, citizen scientist, and entrepreneur and has engaged and supported equality & diversity among international students and students with mental issues.

Currently, Dr Elbetany contributes:

Organic and Analytical Chemistry - Level 4

Synthesis and Measurement - Level 5

MSc Individual Projects - Level 7

Undergraduate Teaching Labs - Level 4 and 5

Recent outputs

View more outputs

Journal Article

Humidified Warmed CO2 Treatment Therapy Strategies Can Save Lives With Mitigation and Suppression of SARS-CoV-2 Infection: An Evidence Review

El-Betany, A. M., Behiry, E. M., Gumbleton, M., & Harding, K. G. (2020). Humidified Warmed CO2 Treatment Therapy Strategies Can Save Lives With Mitigation and Suppression of SARS-CoV-2 Infection: An Evidence Review. Frontiers in Medicine, 7, Article 594295. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2020.594295

Auto-fluorescent PAMAM-based dendritic molecules and their potential application in pharmaceutical sciences

El-Betany, A. M., Kamoun, E. A., James, C., Jangher, A., Aljayyoussi, G., Griffiths, P., …Gumbleton, M. (2020). Auto-fluorescent PAMAM-based dendritic molecules and their potential application in pharmaceutical sciences. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 579, Article 119187. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2020.119187

Influence of photoinitiator concentration and irradiation time on the crosslinking performance of visible-light activated pullulan-HEMA hydrogels

Kamoun, E. A., El-Betany, A., Menzel, H., & Chen, X. (2018). Influence of photoinitiator concentration and irradiation time on the crosslinking performance of visible-light activated pullulan-HEMA hydrogels. International journal of biological macromolecules, 120, 1884-1892. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2018.10.011

Thermoresponsive and reducible hyperbranched polymers synthesized by RAFT polymerisation

Tochwin, A., El-Betany, A., Tai, H., Chan, K. Y., Blackburn, C., & Wang, W. (2017). Thermoresponsive and reducible hyperbranched polymers synthesized by RAFT polymerisation. Polymers, 9(9), Article 443. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9090443

Research interests

Research-at-a-glance:

-Accelerating materials discovery

-Drug delivery & Biotechnology

-Immobilized enzymes & Antimicrobial resistance

-Net-Zero & Biodegradable polymers

Our main research activities are centered on developing and accelerating new materials discovery through synthetic chemistry while demonstrating a keen interest in hybrid polymeric materials and digital and automation chemistry. Our research projects increasingly span beyond the traditional boundaries within chemistry (i.e., Inorganic, Organic, and Physical) and bridge neighbouring disciplines such as Pharmacy, Materials Science, Chemical Engineering, and Physics. Our primary focus remains on applications in biomedical science, clean energy production, sustainability improvement, and environmental remediation. Our current projects are the following:

[1] Accelerating new materials discovery using self-driving labs (SDLs) that integrate machine learning, lab automation, and robotics.

[2] Tackling anti-microbial resistance, biofilm, and infectious diseases in healthcare by using new approaches to drug discovery, such as AI and novel compounds.

[3] Promoting sustainability by exploring green biodegradable polymer, nano/microplastics and bio-upcycle plastic as alternatives to traditional plastics.

[4] Advancing energy technologies through developing new materials for optoelectronics and solar panels and improving fluid completion technologies for the oil and gas industry.

Postgraduate supervision

Join us: Apply to carry out research in the AME group.

Our main research activities focus on developing and accelerating new materials discovery through synthetic chemistry, particularly on applications in biomedical science, clean energy production, sustainability improvement, and environmental remediation. But we also have a strong interest in a variety of research areas:

[A] Accelerating Materials Discovery

-Self-driving labs (SDLs)

-Intelligent ChemBots

-Lab-on-a-chip and Microfluidic reactors

-High-throughput and lab automation

[B] Materials Chemistry

-Nano-(Bio)materials

-Smart-functional materials

-Supramolecular Chemistry

-Porous materials

[C] Biomaterials Science

-Infection diseases (prevention, diagnosis, and treatment)

-Anti-Microbial-Resistance

-Bacterial biofilm

-Wound healing acceleration

[D] Biomedical Science

-Drug delivery

-Biotechnology

-Immobilized enzymes

-Medical devices

-Regenerative medicines

[E] Sustainability and Environmental Remediation

-Combination and integration catalysis

-CO2 capture and utilization

-New Biodegradable plastics

-Plastic depolymerization and upcycle

-Wastewater treatment

All members of our group are trained in a wide range of chemistry and techniques. For further information, please contact Alaa directly via email.

We consistently advertise funded vacancies for PhD scholarships and postdoctoral research fellowships in the AME group. We also welcome PhD students and postdoctoral scientists with personally funded (self-funded) scholarships and fellowships. If you are interested in applying for funding your research through a scholarship or fellowship, please get in touch with Alaa via email with your CV and cover letter to discuss your options.

Opportunities: International Postgraduate Research Scholarships

- Commonwealth Scholarships Scheme

- Chevening Scholarships

- Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate Scholarships

- China Scholarship Council PhD Scholarships

- Research Council Scholarships (EPSRC, BBSRC, MRC,….)

- Wellcome Trust Scholarships

- Marshall Scholarships

- Charles Wallace Trust Scholarships

- Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Awards

- Vice-Chancellor's Scholarships

- Fulbright Foreign Student Program

- Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA PhD Funding)

Awards and prizes

Wellcome Trust ISSF Research Fellow

2018 - 2021

Sponsor MIT Professional Institute

2008 - 2008

Consultancy/Industry advisory role

Member of Open Innovation Council (OIC) at NineSigma

2018 - 2022

Membership/Fellowship of professional body

Member of Society of Chemical Industry

2011

Member of American Chemical Society (MACS)

2010

Member of The Royal Society Of Chemistry (MRSC)

2009

National/International learned society/body role

STEM Ambassador

2022

Citizen Scientist

2022

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