AAPS Recognizes Researchers in the Pharmaceutical Sciences

November 26, 2008
Patricia Van Arnum

Patricia Van Arnum was executive editor of Pharmaceutical Technology.

ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) recognized researchers in the pharmaceutical sciences at AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition in Atlanta last week.

Atlanta (Nov. 16)-The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) recognized researchers in the pharmaceutical sciences at AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition in Atlanta last week.

AAPS award winners included the following:  

  • Sathyanarayana (Satyam) Upadrashta, vice-president of regulatory affairs and quality at Aradigm (Hayward, CA), was awarded the AAPS Distinguished Service Award. Upadrashta was recognized for his contributions to pharmaceutical research and to the training of scientists in pharmaceutics and pharmaceutical technology, which includes controlled drug delivery, extrusion-spheronization technology, and directly compressed polymer systems.     

  • Craig E. Lunte, professor of chemistry and courtesy professor of pharmaceutical chemistry at the University of Kansas, was awarded the AAPS Research Achievement Award in Analysis and Pharmaceutical Quality for his work in microdialysis sampling for in vivo pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics studies. Lunte also developed analytical methodologies for microdialysis samples and published theoretical papers on calibration issues with microdialysis sampling.

  • A team from MicroChips (Bedford, MA) consisting of John T. Santini, Jr., Elizabeth Proos, and James Prescott was awarded the AAPS Drug Delivery Technology Award for developing intelligent, implantable, microreservoir-based devices. Microreservoir arrays offer the ability to store, protect, and controllably release drugs with temporal specificity and controllable release kinetics.

  • Gary W. Cleary, cofounder, president, chief technical officer, and board member of Corium International (Menlo Park, CA), a drug-delivery company that is developing transdermal microneedle products, was given the Dr. Rainer Hoffman Product Through Science Award. Cleary also founded Cygnus and previously held research and managerial positions at the US Food and Drug Administration, Alza, Key, Genentech, and Cygnus. Cleary holds 25 patents and has 20 pending and has given numerous presentations and published in areas related to transdermal, mucosal, polymer, and other drug-delivery technology. He has played a pivotal role for several transdermal products reaching the marketplace, including scopolamine, clonidine, nicotine, and the GlucoseWatch.

  • Larry Augsberger, professor emeritus at the University of Maryland, School of Pharmacy, was awarded the Dale E. Wurster Research Award in Pharmaceutics. His research has contributed to the basic science underpinning oral solid-dosage form fabrication and quality and to the practice of manufacture and regulation of these products.

  • Adel Sakr, professor of industrial pharmacy and pharmaceutics at the College of Pharmacy for the University of Cincinnati, was awarded the AAPS Outstanding Educator Award. He developed graduate programs at universities in the US, Egypt, and Puerto Rico, taught graduate and undergraduate courses in these countries and in Brazil and Germany, and developed continuing education programs for hospital pharmacists in Germany, graduate courses at Sao Paulo University in Brazil, and Fudan University in China, and workshops in 12 countries.

  • Lemont B. Kier, was given the AAPS Research Achievement Award in Drug Design and Discovery for being the first scientist to use molecular orbital theory to predict the preferred conformation of neurotransmitters and drug molecules. This led to the definition of several pharmacophores, a term that he coined. Intermolecular interactions modeling drugs and receptors were also calculated using molecular orbital theory. The technique later evolved as a general class of studies called docking.

  • Ken-ichi Inui, professor and director of the Department of Pharmacy, Kyoto University Hospital, Graduate School of Medicine, and a professor in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyoto University, was given the AAPS Research Achievement Award in Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics, and Drug Metabolism. Inui has conducted research on drug transporters in the small intestine, kidney, and liver to clarify the molecular mechanisms of drug absorption and disposition, and its clinical application.

  • Changquan (Calvin) Sun, assistant professor of the Department of Pharmaceutics at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, was given New Investigator Grant in Pharmaceutics and the Pharmaceutical Technologies. His research has focused on fundamental understanding of compaction and flow properties of pharmaceutical powders at both the particulate and molecular levels. Based on the structural understanding of these properties, he has shown the possibility of engineering crystals and particles to attain improved manufacturability of pharmaceutical powders. One focus of his research is to develop high quality formulation and process, using predictive tools such as compaction simulator and shear cell that can be readily scaled up. 

AAPS names 15 fellows
The following 15 AAPS Fellows were recognized at the 2008 AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition in Atlanta last week:

  • Moji Christianah Adeyeye, professor of pharmaceutics at the Mylan School of Pharmacy, Duquesne University. Her research has resulted in the characterization of drugs and excipients and the optimization of formulation and process technology. She started emphasizing functionality of excipients in dosage form performance and manufacturability through her organized seminars in 1994. 

  • Patrick F. Augustijns, professor at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium). His primary research expertise lies in the area of intestinal absorption, more specifically in the characterization and modulation of the intestinal biochemical barrier function (metabolism, efflux carriers). Dr. Augustijns is author or co-author of approximately 120 papers in international journals, and has given more than 170 presentations at scientific meetings. He also co-initiated and coordinates the yearly meetings of the European Drug Absorption Network.

  • Marcel Bally is the head of advanced therapeutics at the BC Cancer Agency, a professor within the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC), an adjunct professor in the faculty of pharmaceutical sciences, UBC, and co-head of the Division of Drug Evaluation at the Center for Drug Research and Development. His work is focused on defining novel methods for coformulation of two or more agents into a single pharmaceutical preparation as well as the preclinical development of drug combinations for use in treating aggressive cancers.

  • Ene I. Ette is president and chief executive officer of Anoixis Corporation, a drug-development consulting firm. Ette is involved in research-developing approaches for extracting information about drug action from clinical trial data to enable the development of appropriate doses for patients.

  • Thaddeus H. Grasela is president and chief executive officer of Cognigen, a consulting firm. He manages a group of more than 50 scientists and support staff to provide modeling and simulation support for all stages of drug discovery, development, and commercialization.

  • Bozena “Bo” Michniak-Kohn is an associate professor of pharmaceutics at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy and director of the Laboratory for Drug Delivery, New Jersey Center for Biomaterials at Rutgers University. Her research focuses on topical and transdermal drug delivery, particularly in the design of novel dermal penetration enhancers and retardants, as well as the optimization of formulations. Studies also involve novel carrier systems such as nanospheres and physical approaches to drug delivery enhancement. In addition, Michniak-Kohn is developing novel organotypic full-thickness human skin models.  

  • Deanna L. Kroetz is a professor and vice-chair in the Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences in the School of Pharmacy at the University of California, San Francisco. Her research interests are broadly in the area of drug metabolism, drug transport, and pharmacogenetics.  She also is the coprimary investigator of the Pharmacogenetics of Membrane Transporters Project funded by the National Institutes of Health.

  • Vinod D. Labhasetwar leads Cleveland Clinic’s Cancer NanoMedicine Program, a collaborative effort jointly sponsored by Lerner Research Institute’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Taussig Cancer Center.  His research interests are focused in translational nanomedicine.  His laboratory has developed multifunctional magnetic nanoparticles for imaging applications and targeted delivery of therapeutics in cancer treatment.  

  • James E. Polli is professor and vice chair of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Maryland, School of Pharmacy and vice chair of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Expert Committee on Biopharmaceutics.

  • Thomayant Prueksaritanont is senior director in the Preclinical Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics Department at Merck Research Laboratories (West Point, PA). Using her understanding of pharmacokinetic principles and drug metabolism, she has contributed to the discovery and development of several drug candidates, including "statins" commonly used for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia.

  • Theodore W. Randolph is the Gillespie professor of bioengineering, co-director of the University of Colorado’s Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, and director of the NIH Leadership Training in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Program. His research interests include biopharmaceutical formulation, lyophilization of proteins, protein-solvent interactions in non-aqueous environments, and protein refolding. Dr. Randolph is an inventor on numerous patents, some of which form the basis for two companies that he has founded: RxKinetix  (now owned by Endo Pharmaceuticals) and BaroFold.

  • Alain P. Rolland is senior vice-president of product development and a corporate officer at Vical (San Diego), a company developing DNA-based cancer immuno-therapeutics and infectious disease vaccines.  With over 20 years of leadership experience at pharmaceutical  and biotechnology companies, he has pioneered and guided the development of nanoparticles administered systemically to target drugs to specific tissues, microspheres, and liposomes for site-specific topical drug delivery, and peptide-, polymer-, and lipid-based technologies for gene delivery.

  • Evgenyi Y. Shalaev is an associate research fellow in the Parenteral Center of Emphasis at Pfizer (Groton, CT).  Shalaev holds adjunct faculty positions in the Departments of Pharmaceutics at the Universities of Minnesota and Connecticut. His contributions to pharmaceutical technology and physical pharmacy include studies of phase equilibria and dynamics in systems of variable complexity ranging from simple binary water-sugar mixtures to biological objects including proteins, phospholipids, and viruses.

  • Quentin R. Smith is chair and professor in the School of Pharmacy, Texas Tech University. His chief research interests are in drug development and delivery to the central nervous system, as well as transport carriers and pumps and plasma protein binding.

  • John Urquhart’s 52-year working career spans physiology, bioengineering, biopharmaceutics, and pharmaco-epidemiology, in each of which he attained full professorships and honors. He led the development of Alza’s early products (e.g., transdermal scopolamine and the “Alzet” osmotic mini-pumps. He co-founded the two firms that pioneered electronic means to compile drug-dosing histories of ambulatory patients, thus giving concepts of patient adherence a pharmacometric foundation. His core academic interest is the nonlinear dynamics of hormonal and drug actions, especially unexpected responses to particular temporal patterns of change in hormonal or drug concentrations in plasma.