AAPS Presents Awards, Names Fellows

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ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

At the opening session of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists? 2007 Annual Meeting and Exposition, President Gene Fiese, PhD, presented awards to researchers commemorating their contributions to the pharmaceutical sciences

San Diego, CA (Nov. 11)-At the opening session of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists’ (AAPS) 2007 Annual Meeting and Exposition, AAPS President Gene Fiese, PhD, presented the following researchers with awards commemorating their contributions to the pharmaceutical sciences:

The AAPS Distinguished Pharmaceutical Scientist Award was given to Nicholas S. Bodor, PhD, professor at the University of Florida and an internationally recognized leader in drug discovery, design and delivery, for his work in introducing revolutionary, general and comprehensive drug design and drug targeting concepts known as retrometabolic drug-design approaches.

The AAPS Research Achievement Award in Biotechnology was given to John F. Carpenter, PhD, professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Colorado’s School of Pharmacy and codirector of the University of Colorado Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, for his research on mechanisms of protein stabilization during freeze-drying, which he started when he was a postdoctoral candidate. Subsequent collaborations later provided further mechanistic insights and showed the value of infrared spectroscopy for monitoring lyophilization-induced changes in protein secondary structures.

The AAPS Research Achievement Award in Clinical Pharmacology and Translational Research was given to Nick Holford, MD, MB, ChB, professor at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, for the development of pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic (PKPD) models for the effects of drugs on the QT interval that are now being rediscovered by regulatory agencies trying to understand the safety consequences of drug-induced QT changes. His research interests include population PKPD analyses of clinical trials of drugs and clinical-trial simulation.

The AAPS Research Achievement Award in Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery was given to Mitsuru Hashida, PhD, a professor in the department of drug delivery research in the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Kyoto University. His research interests include the development and evaluation of novel drug delivery systems for proteins and genes, as well as analysis of oral and transdermal drug absorption. Hashida is currently serving as the president of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, Japan and the Japan Society of Drug Delivery Systems, and vice-president of the International Pharmaceutical Federation.

The AAPS Research Achievement Award in Pharmaceutical Sciences was given to Steven L. Nail, PhD, a leader in the implementation of materials science-based approaches to formulation development, selection of the most effective processing conditions based on improved understanding of heat and mass transfer in freeze drying, and implementation of improved process monitoring and control strategies.

The AAPS New Investigator Grant in Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Drug Metabolism was given to Donald E. Mager, PhD, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. His research focuses on identifying the molecular and physiological factors that control the pharmacological properties of various drugs including antiplatelet, anti-cancer, and immunomodulatory drugs. Mager has contributed to over 35 publications, has received a Young Investigator Award from the University at Buffalo, and serves on the editorial board of Biochemical Pharmacology.

The AAPS New Investigator Grant in Pharmaceutics and the Pharmaceutical Technologies was given to Hugh D. Smyth, PhD, assistant professor of pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, University of New Mexico. He was trained as a pharmacist and received his PhD from the University of Otago, New Zealand. Throughout his training and research career he has performed both basic and applied investigations in pharmaceutics and the pharmaceutical technologies. He has more than 25 publications and five patents. Smyth’s laboratory focuses on the translation of materials science and pharmaceutical engineering to target therapeutic molecules to a biological site of action. His laboratory also explores aerosol drug delivery with an emphasis on lung cancer, cystic fibrosis, and the physics of aerosol generation from inhaler devices.

The AAPS Outstanding Lipid-based Drug Delivery Award was given to Kishor M. Wasan, PhD, a distinguished university scholar professor and chair of pharmaceutics at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada. In the 12 years that Wasan has been an independent researcher at UBC, he has published more than 160 peer-reviewed articles and 180 abstracts investigating the role of how lipids and lipoproteins modify the pharmacokinetics and biological activity of water-insoluble drugs. Wasan’s ground-breaking research has convinced regulatory agencies to recommend that lipoprotein-drug distribution studies should be considered as part of any potential drug application filing.

AAPS Names This Year’s Fellows

In addition to the presentation of awards, the 2007 AAPS Fellows were named at the opening session. The following 14 AAPS fellows were recognized for their scholarly and research contributions to the pharmaceutical sciences such as original articles, scientific presentations at AAPS annual meetings, and patents:

Mansoor M. Amiji, PhD, professor and associate chairman of the pharmaceutical sciences department at Northeastern University, (Boston) and co-director of the Nanomedicine Education and Research Consortium (NERC), for his work with development of novel approaches for surface modification of polymeric biomaterials to improve biocompatibility, micro- and nanotechnologies for target-specific drug and gene delivery, and newer generations of multifunctional nanostructures for biomedical and pharmaceutical applications.

Steven Baertschi, PhD, research fellow in analytical sciences research and development at Eli Lilly, for his significant contributions to the pharmaceutical sciences in the areas of drug stability, stress testing/degradation chemistry, photostability testing, and the development of analytical methodologies.


Ajay K. Banga, PhD, professor and chair in the department of pharmaceutical sciences at the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Mercer University in Atlanta, for his research on nontraditional approaches for transdermal drug delivery. Banga investigated transdermal iontophoretic delivery of water-soluble drugs for several years and more recently is using microneedles and other approaches for transdermal delivery of macromolecules.

Peter L. Bonate, PhD, senior director of pharmacokinetics at Genzyme, for his research on the exploration of new modeling and simulation methodologies and their application to drug development. He was one of the pioneers in using linear and nonlinear mixed effects modeling of exposure-QTc interval data.

Piet Herdewijn, PhD, one of the founders of the International Society for Nucleosides, Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids and a member of the Belgian Academy of Medicine. He has taught the course of medicinal chemistry for 20 years at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium and is the head of the laboratory of medicinal chemistry in the Rega Institute for Medical Research, Belgium. Herdewijn contributed to the medicinal chemistry of nucleosides, oligonucleotides, and peptides with applications in the anti-infection and antitumoral fields. He has published 500 articles in international journals on these topics and, more recently, he discovered nucleoside triphosphate mimics that are accepted as a substrate by HIV reverse transcriptase.

Donhgho (Robert) Lu, PhD, who joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of New Drug Quality Assessment in 2005. Prior to his FDA career, he was a full professor in pharmaceutics at School of Pharmacy, Temple University, and an associate/assistant professor at the College of Pharmacy, University of Georgia. Lu’s academic research interests have included the development of gene delivery and controlled-release systems, and the syntheses of pharmaceutical compounds with enhanced targeting properties.

Tobias Massa, PhD, has supervised the regulatory strategy and authoring of chemistry, manufacturing and control (CMC) sections of 20 globally approved pharmaceutical products and over 150 investigational drug applications. He is currently responsible for managing the CMC regulatory strategy for a portfolio of more than 50 products in development and 300 approved products globally for Bristol-Myers Squibb (New York).

Kenneth R. Morris, PhD, currently a professor and the associate head of the industrial and physical pharmacy department at Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) whose main research contributions have been in the area of pharmaceutical materials science and engineering. These pursuits led Morris to develop advanced techniques to monitor processing stress-induced changes for use in developing predictive models, and he emerged as the academic thought leader in the areas of Quality by Design, process analytical technology and other important pharmaceutical product development initiatives.

Moheb M. Nasr, PhD, the director of FDA’s Office of New Drug Quality Assessment, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. He is responsible for providing executive leadership, scientific expertise, and overall technical direction to 150 multidisciplinary pharmaceutical scientists, chemists, engineers, and medical professionals engaged in the regulatory and scientific evaluation of chemistry, manufacturing and controls for all investigational new drugs, and new drug applications intended for human use.

Carlo Rossi, PhD, for his work with the holothurinogenins, toxic saponin principles produced by the Actinopyga agassizi, a marine animal that is very active against its predators. More recently, Rossi turned his scientific interests on the pharmaceutics and drug delivery areas, where he continues to be active.

Mandip S. Sachdeva, PhD, professor and section leader for the pharmaceutics activity at Florida A&M College of Pharmacy, for his contributions to the knowledge and understanding in the area of drug delivery with special emphasis in inhalation/aerosol delivery as applied to lung cancer and the topical delivery of neuropeptides.

Robert M. Straubinger, PhD, for his research in the field of biopharmaceutics, which focuses primarily upon drug carriers, drug targeting, and drug delivery. His sustained research on the taxane anticancer agents represents a comprehensive exploration of biophysical factors that determine formulation stability, as well as the pharmacological consequences of formulation properties. This work is described in approximately 14 publications and several patents, and resulted in the development of improved, liposome-based formulations of taxol (paclitaxel) having reduced toxicity.

Shinji Yamashita, PhD, for his continuous research on oral drug absorption and the publication of many important articles in this field. He is best known for his pioneering work on the development of in vitro and in situ systems to screen and predict drug absorption in humans. He first organized the “Consortium of Oral Drug Absorption Screening” in 2001 and now, the consortium has 25 pharmaceutical companies as members.

Sumie Yoshioka, PhD, for her research on the difficult and complex area of solid state stability for more than 25 years. Yoshioka has published more than 100 papers in peer-review journals and provided important leadership in the application of such science to regulatory and health policy issues worldwide.