College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) held its second Interdisciplinary Innovation Forum on Tuesday, March 12th, 2012 at the UAB Alumni House.
The second forum was entitled “Innovations in Drug Delivery” and followed an earlier forum on “New Energy Sources and Global Demand” held in January 2012. Yogesh Vohra, Ph.D., Associate Dean, Interdisciplinary and Creative Innovation in CAS chaired these forums.
The innovations in drug delivery forum featured one industrial speaker and four UAB faculty speakers representing different disciplines including chemistry, materials science and engineering, medicine, and radiology.
Art Tipton, Ph.D. from Evonik Industries in Birmingham, AL gave an industrial perspective of drug delivery by pointing out that introduction of a new drug to market takes 10-15 years with a price tag of typically a billion dollars. Dr. Tipton also stressed the importance of innovative research in drug delivery methods for sustained release that can have a tremendous impact on efficacy, lower side effects, higher compliance and fewer procedures increasing the market penetration and consequent higher sales for the drug. Dr. Tipton concluded by saying that how federal and private sector investments in drug development/delivery are coupled.
Veena Antony, MD from the UAB School of Medicine and Environmental Sciences gave an overview of different drug delivery methods currently employed and about innovations in her lab in treating mesothelioma including use of biodegradable nanoparticles that are being developed to deliver drugs.
Ken Hoyt, Ph.D. from UAB radiology department discussed an innovative technology of micro bubbles which can be used to enhance contrast in ultrasound imaging of tumors but also can be used for targeting and carrying drugs to the tumor site.
Eugenia Kharlampieva, Ph.D. from the chemistry department presented results on novel polymer capsules that can be used to carry drugs and imaging agents and how these capsules can deliver drug on demand by the local chemical environment and/or spatial constraints.
Finally, Derrick Dean, Ph.D. from the materials science and engineering department presented research in his research group on the use of surface of the nanometer sized diamond particles in carrying drugs and imaging agents especially for his targeted application of breast cancer.
The forum concluded with a panel discussion on the current barriers to commercialization and regulatory approvals and how different participants can further their technologies by forming partnerships across UAB campus.
If you would like more information or have ideas for future forums please contact Allison Crotwell, Director of Communications for the College of Arts and Sciences.
Thanks to everyone who helped make this forum a success,
Yogesh Vohra, Ph.D., Associate Dean, Interdisciplinary and Creative Innovation