In my role in AstraZeneca I am responsible for applying drug delivery approaches which have the potential to enable the progression of innovative medicines. I have been instrumental in introducing nanomedicines into the AstraZeneca portfolio, and initiated several key collaborations, building internal capability in nanomedicines and drug targeting.  

I have a PhD in oral drug delivery to the colon, and a degree in Pharmacy from the University of Manchester.

Having published over 55 peer reviewed papers and six book chapters, I also regularly deliver invited talks, keynotes and plenaries worldwide in nanomedicine and advanced drug delivery.

I am an Honorary Professor at the University of Nottingham and serve on numerous academic and industrial scientific committees and advisory boards in the field of drug delivery.


Senior Principal Scientist, Advanced Drug Delivery, Pharmaceutical Sciences, R&D


Keynote speaker at Controlled Release Society Annual meeting, New York


Appointed Senior Principal Scientist, Advanced Drug Delivery, Pharmaceutical Sciences, R&D


Awarded IMED Senior Scientist of year for leading AstraZeneca’s approach to nanomedicines (to improve therapeutic index of drugs)

  Featured publications

Drug delivery—the increasing momentum.

Ashford, M. Drug delivery—the increasing momentum. Drug Deliv. and Transl. Res. 10, 1888–1894 (2020). 

Publication link

Local delivery of macromolecules to treat diseases associated with the colon.

Bak A, Ashford M, Brayden DJ. Adv. Drug Deliv Rev (2018), 136-137: 2-27. Publication link.

Tumour regression and improved gastrointestinal tolerability from controlled release of SN-38 from novel polyoxazoline-modified dendrimers.

England RM, Hare JI, Barnes J, Wilson J, Smith A, Strittmatter N, Kemmitt PD, Waring MJ, Barry ST, Alexander C, Ashford MB. J Controlled Release (2017), 247, 73-85. Publication link.

A novel in situ hydrophobic ion pairing (HIP) formulation strategy for clinical product selection of a nanoparticle drug delivery system.

J Controlled Release (2016), 229:106-19. Song YH, Shin E, Wang H, Nolan J, Low S, Parsons D, Zale S, Ashton S, Ashford M, Ali M. Publication link.

Cancer nanomedicine: is targeting our target?

Lammers T, Kiessling F, Ashford M, Hennink W, Crommelin D, Storm G. Nat Rev Mater. (2016) 1(9): 16069.  Publication link.

Challenges and strategies in anti-cancer nanomedicine development: an industry perspective.

Hare JI, Lammers T, Ashford MB, Puri S, Storm G, Barry ST. Adv. Drug Deliv Rev (2016) 108, 25-38. Publication link.

Enhanced cytocompatibility and functional group content of poly (L-lysine) dendrimers by grafting with poly (oxazolines).

England R, Hare J, Kemmitt P, Treacher K, Waring M, Barry S, Alexander C, Ashford M. Polymer Chemistry (2016) 7:4609-17. Publication link.

Aurora kinase inhibitor nanoparticles target tumors with favorable therapeutic index in vivo.

Ashton S, Song YH, Nolan J, Cadogan E, Murray J, Odedra R, Foster J, Hall PA, Low S, Taylor P, Ellston R, Polanska UM, Wilson J, Howes C, Smith A, Goodwin RJ, Swales JG, Strittmatter N, Takats Z, Nilsson A, Andren P, Trueman D, Walker M, Reimer CL, Troiano G, Parsons D, De Witt D, Ashford M, Hrkach J, Zale S, Jewsbury PJ, Barry ST. Science Translational Medicine (2016) 8:325ra17. Publication link.