Mr Frazer Coutinho

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Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy

Research | Current

My current project investigates the use of cell penetrating peptides (CPP) for efficient delivery of drug therapeutics in ocular disease models. CPP efficiently carry cargo across the cell membrane with limited toxicity. Therefore the administered dose of drug can be reduced while still achieving the desired effect. Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in the ageing population and is characterised by the deterioration of the macula, the central region of the retina resulting in the loss of sharp central vision. I aim to observe the use of cell penetrating peptides to deliver therapeutic drugs as a potential treatment for AMD.     


  • Cell biology
  • Ocular disease
  • Drug delivery
  • Connexins
  • Science commercialisation


·         Buchanan Ocular Therapeutics Unit Doctoral Scholarship (2015)

·         3rd Place SPARK 100K challenge (2015)

·         MSc (Distinction). University of Otago (2013)

Areas of expertise

·         Cell culture

·         Western blot

·         Flow cytometry

·         Confocal/fluorescence  microscopy  

·         Tissue sectioning (cryostat)

·         Immunocytochemistry/ Immunohistochemistry

·         ELISA

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Coutinho, F. P., Green, C. R., & Rupenthal, I. D. (2018). Intracellular oligonucleotide delivery using the cell penetrating peptide Xentry. Scientific Reports, 8 (1).10.1038/s41598-018-29556-7
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ilva Rupenthal, Colin Green
  • Ramtin, A., Seyfoddin, A., Coutinho, F. P., Waterhouse, G. I. N., Rupenthal, I. D., & Svirskis, D. (2016). Cytotoxicity considerations and electrically tunable release of dexamethasone from polypyrrole for the treatment of back-of-the-eye conditions. Drug Delivery and Translational Research, 6 (6), 793-799. 10.1007/s13346-016-0284-0
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Geoffrey Waterhouse, Darren Svirskis, Ilva Rupenthal
  • Black, L. V. C., Saunderson, S. C., Coutinho, F. P., Muhsin-Sharafaldine, M.-R., Damani, T. T., Dunn, A. C., & McLellan, A. D. (2016). The CD169 sialoadhesin molecule mediates cytotoxic T-cell responses to tumour apoptotic vesicles. Immunology and Cell Biology, 94 (5), 430-438. 10.1038/icb.2015.111

Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 504 - Bldg 504
Level 4, Room 437
New Zealand