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Huw Summers, PhD

Full Affiliate Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist


Dr. Huw Summers is a professor in nanotechnology for health in the College of Engineering at Swansea University in Wales. Dr. Summers has extensive experience in metrologies for cell analysis and the development of nanoparticle-based diagnostics and therapeutics. He has more than 80 peer-reviewed publications in prestigious journals including Applied Physics Letters and Nature Nanotechnology and is supported by several European Union research grants.

As an Full Affiliate Member of Houston Methodist Research Institute, Dr. Summers collaborates with the nanomedicine department to develop physics and engineering approaches for cell analysis. Dr. Summers is also a mentor for the formal joint graduate training program between the Houston Methodist Academy and Swansea University.

Description of Research

In the field of nanomedicine, Dr. Summers’ group is one of only a handful, developing quantitative, statistical assays for the assessment of nanoparticle dose in proliferating cell populations. Dr. Summers’ research focuses on two areas: metrologies for cell analysis (cytometry) and the development of nanoparticle-based diagnostics and therapeutics (nanomedicine).

The goal of this work is to apply physics and engineering approaches to cell population analysis, e.g. systems analysis of cell cycle progression or statistical mechanics on nanoparticle-cell interactions. Computational and statistical analyses are applied to large cell populations (>106) with the enabling technology being high throughput, high content cytometry (microscope and flow system based) and the core aim to understand and quantify cell heterogeneity.

His research program exploits the customizability of micro and nano-engineered structures to provide novel optical analysis and manipulation of living cells. For example, using fluorescent nanocrystals (quantum dots) as intra-cellular markers cell populations allows tracking over multiple generations of cell division, and the evolution of different lineages can then be analyzed by their unique spectral signatures.

Areas Of Expertise

Nanomedicine Optical techniques for biomedicine Cytometry Nanoparticle fluorophores
Education & Training

, Cardiff University
, University of Bath

Multiscale benchmarking of drug delivery vectors
Summers, HD, Ware, MJ, Majithia, R, Meissner, KE, Godin, B & Rees, P 2016, Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine, vol 12, no. 7, pp. 1843-1851. DOI:

Profiling movement quality and gait characteristics according to body-mass index in children (9–11 y)
Clark, CCT, Barnes, CM, Holton, M, Summers, HD & Stratton, G 2016, Human Movement Science, vol 49, pp. 291-300. DOI:

Quantitative Time-Profiling of Children’s Activity and Motion
Barnes, CM, Clark, CCT, Holton, MD, Stratton, G & Summers, HD 2016, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. DOI:

A Review of Emerging Analytical Techniques for Objective Physical Activity Measurement in Humans
Clark, CCT, Barnes, CM, Stratton, G, McNarry, MA, Mackintosh, KA & Summers, HD 2016, Sports Medicine, pp. 1-9. DOI:

An Analysis of the Practicalities of Multi-Color Nanoparticle Cellular Bar-Coding
Rees, P, Brown, MR, Wills, JW & Summers, H 2016, Combinatorial Chemistry and High Throughput Screening, vol 19, no. 5, pp. 362-369.

Carbon nanotubes' surface chemistry determines their potency as vaccine nanocarriers in vitro and in vivo
Hassan, HAFM, Smyth, L, Rubio, N, Ratnasothy, K, Wang, JTW, Bansal, SS, Summers, HD, Diebold, SS, Lombardi, G & Al-Jamal, KT 2016, Journal of Controlled Release, vol 225, pp. 205-216. DOI:

Quantifying the cellular uptake of semiconductor quantum dot nanoparticles by analytical electron microscopy
Hondow, N, Brown, MR, Starborg, T, Monteith, AG, Brydson, R, Summers, HD, Rees, P & Brown, A 2016, Journal of Microscopy, vol 261, no. 2, pp. 167-176. DOI:

Label-free cell cycle analysis for high-throughput imaging flow cytometry
Blasi, T, Hennig, H, Summers, HD, Theis, FJ, Cerveira, J, Patterson, JO, Davies, D, Filby, A, Carpenter, AE & Rees, P 2016, Nature Communications, vol 7, 10256. DOI:

Reduced cationic nanoparticle cytotoxicity based on serum masking of surface potential
McConnell, KI, Shamsudeen, S, Meraz, IM, Mahadevan, TS, Ziemys, A, Rees, P, Summers, HD & Serda, RE 2016, Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology, vol 12, no. 1, pp. 154-164. DOI:

Integrated III-V semiconductor flow cytometer with capillary fill micro-fluidics
Thomas, R, Holton, M, Sobiesierski, A, Gillgrass, S, Summers, HD, Barrow, D & Smowton, PM 2015, . in 2015 IEEE Photonics Conference, IPC 2015., 7323580, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. pp. 7-8, IEEE Photonics Conference, IPC 2015, Reston, United States, 30-31 August. DOI:

A new imaging platform for visualizing biological effects of non-invasive radiofrequency electric-field cancer hyperthermia
Corr, SJ, Shamsudeen, S, Vergara, LA, Chak-Shing Ho, J, Ware, MJ, Keshishian, V, Yokoi, K, Savage, DJ, Meraz, IM, Kaluarachchi, W, Cisneros, BT, Raoof, M, Nguyen, DT, Zhang, Y, Wilson, LJ, Summers, H, Rees, P, Curley, SA & Serda, RE 2015, PLoS ONE, vol 10, no. 8, e0136382. DOI:

Radiofrequency treatment alters cancer cell phenotype
Ware, MJ, Tinger, S, Colbert, KL, Corr, SJ, Rees, P, Koshkina, N, Curley, S, Summers, HD & Godin, B 2015, Scientific reports, vol 5, 12083. DOI:

Poisson-event-based analysis of cell proliferation
Summers, HD, Wills, JW, Brown, MR & Rees, P 2015, Cytometry Part A, vol 87, no. 5, pp. 385-392. DOI:

Statistical prediction of nanoparticle delivery: From culture media to cell
Brown, MR, Hondow, N, Brydson, R, Rees, P, Brown, AP & Summers, HD 2015, Nanotechnology, vol 26, no. 15, 155101. DOI:

Development of an optically transparent silicon based technology platform for biological analysis
Davies, N, Summers, HD, Holton, MD, Brown, MR, Wills, JW & Holland, PM 2015, IEEE Sensors Journal, vol 15, no. 3, 6949124, pp. 1849-1857. DOI:

The Importance of Particle Geometry in Design of Therapeutic and Imaging Nanovectors
Ware, MJ, Alexander, JF, Summers, H & Godin, B 2015, . in D Peer, K Howard & TV Jensen (eds), Advances in Delivery Science and Technology.. Springer.

Interactions of cationic polymers with cells
Ware, MJ, Summers, HD & Godin, B 2015, RSC Polymer Chemistry Series, vol 2015-January, no. 13, pp. 479-511.

Photochemistry in medical diagnostics
Summers, HD 2014, . in Applied Photochemistry. vol. 9789048138302, Springer Netherlands, pp. 349-362. DOI:

Quantifying nanoparticle-cell interactions
Hondow, N, Brown, A, Summers, HD, Rowan Brown, M, Rees, P, Holton, MD & Brydson, R 2014, Microscopy and Microanalysis, vol 20, no. 3, pp. 1300-1301. DOI:

Analysis of the influence of cell heterogeneity on nanoparticle dose response
Ware, MJ, Godin, B, Singh, N, Majithia, R, Shamsudeen, S, Serda, RE, Meissner, KE, Rees, P & Summers, HD 2014, ACS Nano, vol 8, no. 7, pp. 6693-6700. DOI: