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Industrial Pharmacy Symposium Highlights New Developments In Nanotechnology

Monday, July 29, 2013

The discoveries of science are forever changing, and nowhere was that more apparent than at the Seventh Annual Dr. Charles I. Jarowski Industrial Pharmacy Symposium. The symposium attracted a group of leading scientists from the industrial and academic worlds to the Queens campus of St. John’s University, where they discussed the latest research and potential applications of this year’s topic “Emerging Technologies in the Development of Nanoparticulate Systems.”

The collaboration between industry and academia has always been one of the most unique aspects of this highly regarded annual gathering.

“It’s very important for academic institutions to collaborate with industry to achieve what I like to refer to as a synergy of science,” remarked Robert A. Mangione, R.Ph. ’77P, ’79GP, ’93PD, ’99Ed.D., University Provost and former Dean of St. John’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. “The Jarowski Symposium brings together the leading thinkers from around the world to focus on topics that are of the highest priority. Industrial organizations have tremendous resources available to them from which the academic sector can benefit. Here at St. John’s we have the vibrancy of new ideas being provided, not only by our outstanding faculty but also by our students. It’s a wonderful opportunity to collaborate and achieve a common cause and hopefully contribute to society.”

According to Keynote Speaker Robert K. Prud’homme, Ph.D., Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Director of the Program in Engineering Biology at Princeton University, the mutually supportive interactions among research scientists from both the industrial and academic sectors have increased significantly in recent years. This new sense of cooperation allows those in industry to become aware of what the academics are doing while giving the academics insight into what the industry needs.

“The translation of research that goes from university ideas to products and pharmaceuticals is important for society in general,” he said, “but it’s equally important for academics to listen to the industrial people to see what’s needed. The university track is supposed to be looking at the long-range new ideas that can’t be translated right now into pharmaceutical products. On the other hand, industry needs to have things that can immediately get through Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approval. They need things that can be adopted rapidly in terms of their profit model. What needs to happen is for those two tracks to intersect from time to time. And this type of forum brings the academic and industrial people together.”

An important reason for the ongoing popularity of this widely respected symposium is that the topic selected is always one that, because it is on the cutting-edge of both pure and applied research, appeals to a broad population within the scientific community. It is chosen by the members of the Industrial Pharmacy Planning Committed, a group of distinguished and successful alumni and academics from St. John’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

“Nanotechnology is the future of drug delivery,” noted Salah U. Ahmed ’85GP, ’90Ph.D., President and CEO of Abon Pharmaceuticals. “Today’s scientists are trying to deliver drugs in ways that would otherwise be impossible without nanotechnology. There are devices now that are so tiny that it makes treatment of diseases possible in ways that were never imagined just a few years ago. It is a challenge, but one that already enjoys good scientific success. Nanotechnology has very wide applications in pharmaceuticals and medicine. That’s why so many scientists from diverse backgrounds are here today.”

Navnit H. Shah ’73GP, ’81Ph.D. has spoken at many national and international conferences about his ongoing interest in the in the area of drug delivery. As President and Chief Science Officer of Kashiv Pharma, LLC, he is committed to keeping abreast of the latest developments in applied pharmaceutical research currently being conducted by his colleagues in laboratories across the industry. He also enjoys sharing his own findings with his fellow scientists.

“I’ve done work in the area of nanotechnology, and I wanted to share it with my colleagues,” he said. “Some of the topics we’re talking about at this symposium are being discussed for the first time, and that’s very exciting. The topic of nanotechnology is of major importance to the pharmaceutical industry. There are direct benefits for companies to participate in this symposium, because they will be exposed to the latest and most exciting research that’s taking place in universities today. Participating in and supporting this symposium gives companies a direct link to what’s going on in academia.”

Jatin Shah ’87Ph.D. acknowledges that he takes part in the Jarowski Symposium for both personal and professional reasons. As Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Perrigo Company, he enjoys meeting students who are conducting research that might, in the near future, have an impact on the Industrial Pharmacy community. He believes that the networking that takes place between graduate students and industry representatives is beneficial to everyone, allowing current professionals an opportunity to interact with those young people who will soon be following in their footsteps.

“For me, this symposium is a great way to meet students and learn about the research they’re conducting without having to schedule them for an interview in a more formal setting,” he said. “And it’s even more special because it’s held at St. John’s, which is such an important place for me personally. I believe that you always owe a debt of gratitude to the institution that gave you the qualifications to be successful. For me, it’s like Mother St. John’s, and I can’t turn my face away from the University. Without a question, St. John’s will always be important to me.”

The Dr. Charles I. Jarowski Industrial Pharmacy Symposium offers an opportunity for professional development and networking among students, alumni and industry representatives. It is named in memory of Dr. Charles I. Jarowski, who was instrumental in developing the Industrial Pharmacy Program while a faculty member in St. John’s  College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions.