Dr Felicity Han

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

School of Biomedical Sciences
Faculty of Medicine

Affiliate Research Fellow

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
+61 7 336 53659


Dr Felicity Han is an early-career researcher. She completed her doctoral training at Prof Maree Smith’s laboratory, a unique GLP-accredited biomedical discovery-translation and drug development facility, at The University of Queensland in 2015 in neuropharmacology and drug delivery. Her research program has generated new knowledge to address unmet intractable cancer-related pain by applying for the latest advances in the field of nanotechnology to that of pain management based on her expertise in both the neuropharmacology and the drug delivery fields. She has a unique combination of expertise with technology such as Supercritical CO2 Micronization Technology, Microfluidic devices for producing drug-loaded nanoparticles on one side, as well as with chronic intrathecal catheter implantation in rats and establishment of rodent pain models, on the other. Dr Han has also begun her research interest in a new field of the role of glycogen in epilepsy recently. Dr Han also enjoys public service, such as the head of the SBMS ECR Committee, treasurer for 9th The Queensland Chinese Association of Scientists and Engineers (QCASE).

Research Interests

  • 1. Nanotechnology in Pain Management: Novel Analgesic Drug Delivery Strategies to Alleviate Intractable Cancer-Related Pain.
  • 2. Novel Therapeutics for Cancer Chemotherapy Induce Neuropathic Pain (CIPN).
  • 3. Stabilising the delivery of a novel peptide targeting the innate immune system for clinical application

Research Impacts

The optimised rat model of cancer chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) that Dr. Han established and pharmacologically characterized as part of her PhD research addressed the limitations of all previously published models of this painful condition. This model is now being used routinely by the CIPDD/TetraQ research team to identify which novel molecules from drug discovery programs can alleviate this type of pain so that the best molecules so-identified can be progressed towards clinical trials in patients.

The management of moderate to severe persistent pain associated with advanced cancer is a great challenge to clinicians. There is a great need for sustained release formulation of strong analgesics (that Dr. Han has been working on). This means that for patients who do not respond well to painkillers given as tablets or conventional injections, one injection containing the sustained release microparticles into the fluid surrounding the spinal cord, will lead to well-controlled pain for several weeks. The novel sustained-release microparticles analgesic drug formulation has the potential to have a major impact by improving the quality of life of patients who would otherwise suffer from intractable cancer-related pain.


  • PhD, The University of Queensland


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  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

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PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision