Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Huw Summers Ph.D.

Huw Summers, Ph.D.

Huw Summers, Ph.D.

Huw Summers, Ph.D.

Affiliate Full Member 
Department of Nanomedicine
The Methodist Hospital Research Institute

Professor of Nanotechnology for Health
College of Engineering
Swansea University

E-mail: h.d.summers@swansea.ac.uk
Phone: 011-44-1792-602915


Ph.D.   Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK (Laser Physics)
B.S.   Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK (Physics)

Postdoctoral Training

Research Fellow, Optoelectronics, University of Bath, Bath, UK



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 Affiliate Full Member of The Methodist Hospital 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 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.

Major Areas of Research

Nanomedicine, optical techniques for biomedicine, cytometry, nanoparticle fluorophores

Recent Publications

Hondow N, Brydson R, Wang P, Holton MD, Brown MR, Rees P, Summers HD, Brown A.  Quantitative characterization of nanoparticle agglomeration within biological media. J Nanopart Res, 14, 977. (2012) doi: 10.1007/s11051-012-0977-3

Summers HD, Rees P, Holton MD, Brown MR, Chappell SC, Smith PJ, Errington RJ. Statistical analysis of nanoparticle dosing in a dynamic cellular system. Nat Nanotechnol. 2011 Mar;6(3):170-4. PMID: 21258333

Rees P, Brown MR, Summers HD, Holton MD, Errington RJ, Chappell SC, Smith PJ. A transfer function approach to measuring cell inheritance. BMC Syst Biol. 2011 Feb 22;5:31. PMID: 21342507 

Brown MR, Summers HD, Rees P, Chappell SC, Silvestre OF, Khan IA, Smith PJ, Errington RJ. Long-term time series analysis of quantum dot encoded cells by deconvolution of the autofluorescence signal. Cytometry A. 2010 Oct;77(10):925-32. PMID: 21290466

Summers HD, Holton MD, Rees P, Williams PM, Thornton CA. Analysis of quantum dot fluorescence stability in primary blood mononuclear cells. Cytometry A. 2010 Oct;77(10):933-9. PMID: 21290467

Brown MR, Summers HD, Rees P, Smith PJ, Chappell SC, Errington RJ. Flow-based cytometric analysis of cell cycle via simulated cell populations. PLoS Comput Biol. 2010 Apr 15;6(4):e1000741. PMID: 20419143

Errington RJ, Brown MR, Silvestre OF, Njoh KL, Chappell SC, Khan IA, Rees P, Wilks SP, Smith PJ, Summers HD. Single cell nanoparticle tracking to model cell cycle dynamics and compartmental inheritance. Cell Cycle. 2010 Jan 1;9(1):121-30. PMID: 20016285

Chong EZ, Matthews DR, Summers HD, Njoh KL, Errington RJ, Smith PJ. Development of FRET-based assays in the far-red using CdTe quantum dots. J Biomed Biotechnol. 2007;2007(7):54169. PMID: 18273410

Matthews DR, Summers HD, Njoh K, Chappell S, Errington R, Smith P. Optical antenna arrays in the visible range. Opt Express. 2007 Mar 19;15(6):3478-87. PMID: 19532589