Public Release: 

AAPS announces 2012 Fellows

10 honored at Annual Meeting and Exposition for sustained level of superior and distinguished professional achievement and contributions to pharmaceutical sciences

American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists

CHICAGO --The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) is pleased to announce its 2012 AAPS Fellows. AAPS confers the honor of Fellow to recognize individuals for outstanding contributions, which elevate the stature of the pharmaceutical sciences, and for professional excellence in the field relevant to the mission of AAPS.

Okezie I. Aruoma, M.B.A., D. Sc., Ph.D., of the American University of Health Sciences has developed an internationally recognized research program focused on promoting public health nutrition and the management of diseases of overt inflammation (including diabetes, cancers, Alzheimer's and Parkinsons disease) that embrace the principles of pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine. The program aims to understand not only how prophylactic agents (derived from fruits, food plants and medicinal plants) may potentially prevent or reverse the promotion or progression of the diseases but assess how the clinical efficacy of the functional nutraceuticals can augment the outcome of prescription drug therapy.

Alekha K. Dash, R.Ph., Ph.D., received his bachelor's and master's degrees in Pharmacy from Jadavpur University, India, and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He is professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacy Sciences, Creighton University and holds the Gilbert F. Taffe Jr. Endowed Chair of Pharmacy. He has established an internationally recognized research program to develop and evaluate novel drug delivery systems and analysis of drugs in complex dosage forms. His work in this field has enabled more effective use of pharmaceuticals in the years to come. His approach of using appropriate and diverse analytical techniques to develop different complex drug delivery systems will certainly help to address the analytical challenges of the future. He hails from Odissa, an eastern state in India and is the first Pharmacy Faculty from Odissa in the United States to be inducted as a fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.

Melgardt M. de Villers, B.Pharm., Ph.D., is a professor in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin. He is also an adjunct-professor in the School of Pharmacy at North-West University, Potchefstroom South Africa. The research performed by his groups in Wisconsin and South Africa is designed to improve the effectiveness of "old" drug molecules though the design of better drug delivery systems and testing methods. In particular, several strategies employing nanotechnology, solid state chemistry and novel analytical techniques are used to improve the manufacturing, quality and therapeutic effectiveness of drugs used to treat chronic and communicable diseases. The current research focus is on diseases such as high blood pressure, HIV-AIDS, malaria and worm infestations.

Glen S. Kwon, Ph.D., is a professor and holder of the inaugural Jens T. Carstensen Distinguished Chair at the School of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Kwon is interested in the novel therapeutic strategies that utilize hybrid nanomedicines for drug delivery and tumor targeting. The goal of this research is to turn synergistic drug combinations into hybrid nanomedicines that are uniquely safe, soluble and stable for advances in the treatment of cancer and systemic fungal diseases.

Tarun K. Mandal, M. Pharm., Ph.D., is an Endowed Professor of Pharmacy and founding Director of the Center for Nanomedicine and Drug Delivery at Xavier University of Louisiana. He is also a Co-Director of the Louisiana Vaccine Center. Dr. Mandal has been recognized for his outstanding contributions in the area of innovative drug delivery. His research focuses on the design and development of commercially viable formulations to improve the safety, efficacy, and patient compliance. Cutting-edge research in his laboratory has resulted in patient friendly medications for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. A few of the advantages of these medications are reduction in the frequency of dosing and fewer side effects.

Mehul U. Mehta, Ph.D., is the Director of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology I at CDER (Center for Drug Evaluation & Research), US FDA. In addition to his review responsibilities, he has led the efforts of several fellow scientists at FDA to utilize the state of the art science and develop ways by which the regulated industry can avoid doing unnecessary human studies and also has provided guidance to the pharmaceutical industry on best practices to conduct certain clinical trials that has led to better dosing recommendations of hundreds of new drugs in special populations like patients with liver disease.

Michael A. Repka, D.D.S., Ph.D., has significantly contributed to the advancement of hot melt extrusion (HME) technology and has established himself as an expert in this field. Polymeric drug delivery design, stabilization and formulation / process development for poorly soluble drugs are important aspects of his research. Dr. Repka is Chair and Professor of the Department of Pharmaceutics and Director of the Pii Center for Pharmaceutical Technology at The University of Mississippi. He serves as Associate Editor for AAPS PharmSciTech and is currently Vice Chair of the FDD Section within AAPS. Dr. Repka regularly speaks at international HME symposia and workshops.

Lynne S. Taylor, Ph.D., is a Professor of Industrial and Physical Pharmacy and Chemical Engineering at Purdue University. The research performed by her group is designed to improve the delivery of drugs that do not dissolve well in water. If successful, knowledge gained from this research will contribute to improving the treatment of many diseases by enhancing the delivery of newly discovered drugs to the body.

Timothy S. Tracy, Ph.D., is Dean and Professor at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy. His research seeks to predict the correct dose of a drug for a particular individual based on their genetic profile and known characteristics of the drug. For a given dose of a drug, humans vary widely in their ability to break down and eliminate drugs. Rather than use trial and error in the individual, his group combines laboratory experiments, the individual's genetic makeup and prediction methods to choose the best dose for an individual patient being treated. In this way, an individual's exposure to potentially harmful drug doses is minimized and the treatment effect is maximized.

Jeffry Weers, Ph.D., is an executive director of Pharmaceutical Development for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation in San Carlos, CA. Dr. Weers' career has focused on the development of engineered particles for biomedical and consumer products. He is an inventor of 40 patents with an additional 45 published patents pending. Among his inventions are a blood substitute formulation based on nanoemulsion droplets of perfluorooctyl bromide, and an ultrasound contrast agent formulation based on microbubbles of perfluorohexane. More recently, his research has focused on finding better ways to deliver drugs via inhalation. In this regard, Dr. Weers designed aerosol formulations comprising hollow porous particles (PulmoSphere™ technology) for use in portable inhalers. The PulmoSphere technology was utilized in the development of the TOBI® Podhaler™, a dry powder formulation of tobramycin for the treatment of chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in cystic fibrosis patients. Dr. Weers serves on the Editorial Board for Current Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science, and the Scientific Advisory Board of Solaeromed.


The 2012 AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition, the world's largest pharmaceutical sciences meeting, aims to improve global health through advances in pharmaceutical sciences. The meeting features more than 90 programming sessions, including more than 50 symposia and roundtables.

AAPS is pleased to announce that our smartphone application is available at the 2012 AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition. This application can assist meeting attendees with anything and everything they need to navigate the conference at their fingertips.

About AAPS:

The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists is a professional, scientific society of approximately 11,000 members employed in academia, industry, government and other research institutes worldwide. Founded in 1986, AAPS provides a dynamic international forum for the exchange of knowledge among scientists to serve the public and enhance their contributions to health. AAPS offers timely scientific programs, on-going education, information resources, opportunities for networking, and professional development. For more information, please visit Follow us on Twitter @AAPSComms; official Twitter hashtag for the meeting is: #AAPS2012.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.