Dr Felicity Han

Research Fellow

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
+61 7 334 63806


I am a Research Fellow and Leader in NanoPain Research at AIBN, UQ. My research interests sit at the interface of drug delivery and the pain field. My overarching research goal is to improve the quality of day to day life of patients suffering from chronic pain, by applying nanotechnology to the development of novel highly effective pain-killer products for improving chronic pain management. I am looking for highly motivated postgraduate students.

I also enjoy volunteering within the academic community, most notably as Head of the SBMS ECR Committee and Treasurer for The Queensland Chinese Association of Scientists and Engineers (QCASE). I am currently serving as guest editor of Pain Research and Management.

Research Interests

My research is an emerging field, focusing on applying nanotechnology to chronic pain management. To date, I have established five different techniques to produce painkiller–loaded nanoparticles and nanofibers aimed at improving pain relief for patients where currently available pain-killers either lack efficacy or produce dose-limiting side-effects. For example, there is a small and very potent peptide that has been on the market as a chemical for over 10 years but which cannot be used as a therapeutic due to its short half-life and poor oral bioavailability. In the form of my nanoparticles, that peptide has the potential to become an oral treatment for improving pain management in patients whose pain is currently poorly alleviated by clinically used pain-killers. I have significant expertise in the use of rodent pain models to assess novel analgesics, and I have received excellent training in conducting research in accordance with the stringent requirements of the Quality Management System (quality accreditations (GLP and ISO17025) from NATA). Together, my knowledge, skills and experience will facilitate the efficient translation of my research from the bench to the clinic.

The current focus of the lab is on the development of drug-products to solve one of the largest unmet medical needs in the pain field through use of sustainable materials. 1) We are developing multifunctional sutures including biodegradable pain relief sutures. 2) We are developing my innovative novel nanoparticles, which deliver innate-immune targeting peptides for the treatment of cancer and cancer-related pain. We are establishing a platform for the development of safe, effective delivery for other small molecule peptide drugs in general to pave their way to clinical trials. 3) Our research also investigates the role of C5a and C3a, as well as others in the pathogenesis of chronic pain including neuropathic pain, cancer-related pain, low back pain and OA pain.

We work in collaboration with other leading Australian and international researchers to stay at the forefront of the drug delivery systems field and the pain field. We also provide preclinical evaluation of novel compounds and formulations.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland


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