The 2013 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) annual meeting and exposition AAPS kicked off with AAPS president, Anthony J DeStefano, PhD, presenting the following top scientists and students with awards for their various contributions to pharmaceutical sciences.
The distinguished pharmaceutical scientist award went to Leaf Huang, PhD, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill for his work in developing non-viral vectors for gene delivery. His membrane core nanoparticles have demonstrated effective delivery of siRNA, miRNA and plasmid DNA-based therapies in animal models of cancer and liver disease. Further investigations are ongoing to evaluate these nanoparticles as carriers of chemotherapeutics for use in combination therapies.
Sukyung Woo, PhD, University of Oklahoma, won the new investigator grant in pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and drug metabolism. Her research uses computational and experimental methods to better understand how tumors evade antiangiogenic therapy. The knowledge gained would enable scientists to counteract drug resistant mechanisms in tumors and identify predictive markers for response and resistance to antiangiogenic therapy.
Shyh-Dar Li, PhD, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, received the new investigator grant in pharmaceutics and the pharmaceutical technologies. His research on nanomedicine and drug delivery has seen three of his technologies licensed to industry for clinical evaluation, including a brain-targeted technology that is currently being tested in Phase II trials.
The David J.W. grant research achievement award in physical pharmacy was bagged by Raj Suryanarayanan (Sury), PhD, University of Minnesota. The focus of his research is on materials science of pharmaceuticals with the aim to understand material properties of both drug and excipients for the production of solid dosage forms with reproducible and predictable properties.
The innovation in nanotechnology was won by Shardool Jain, PhD, Northeastern University for developing an effective non-viral gene delivery system for the treatment of anti-inflammatory conditions. The system targets macrophages, which play a key role in inflammation and joint damage. Preclinical studies not only demonstrated that the targeted therapy suppressed inflammation for sustained period but treated animals also retained their mobility.
Postdoctoral fellow awards: • Bhagwat Prasad, PhD, University of Washington for his contribution towards improved knowledge on the types and levels of drug transporters in human tissues, which is crucial in the development of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies as well as drug interactions. • Changyou Zhan, PhD, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, for developing a potent D-peptide p53 activator as a potential new class of anticancer therapy. • Gaurav Sahay, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for his work on the interface of nanotechnology, cell biology and drug delivery and the molecular mechanisms of nanoparticle transport into cells. •
Pharmaceutical research meritorious manuscript award: • Ryan F. Donnelly, PhD (Queen’s University Belfast, Ireland) • Yusuf K. Demir, PhD (Marmara University, Turkey) • Martin Garland, PhD (Kilco International LTD.) • David Gillen, PhD (Blueacre Technology) • Rita Majithiya, PhD (Queen’s University Belfast, Ireland) • Katarzyna Migalska, PhD (Chemidex Pharma) • Desmond I. J. Morrow, PhD (Warner Chilcott UK Limited) • Elizabeth Ryan, PhD (University of Queensland, Australia) • Christopher J. Scott, PhD (Queen’s University Belfast, Ireland) • Thakur Raghu Raj Singh, PhD (Queen’s University Belfast, Ireland) • A. David Woolfson, PhD (Queen’s University Belfast, Ireland)
AAPS journal manuscript award: • Leslie Z. Benet, PhD (University of California, San Francisco) • Fabio Broccatelli, PhD (University of California, San Francisco) • Tudor I. Oprea, MD, PhD (University of New Mexico School of Medicine)
AAPS outstanding manuscript award in analysis and pharmaceutical quality • Buyun Chen (The University of Georgia) • Sadie F. Mason (The University of Georgia) • Michael G. Bartlett, PhD (The University of Georgia)
The AAPS graduate student awards were also presented during the meeting and the names of all the winners can be found here.