2021 Research Conference

Peter Wildfong, PhD, Associate Professor, Pharmaceutics, Duquesne University

I have been a faculty member in the School of Pharmacy and the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Duquesne University since 2004, where my main research focus is oriented towards pharmaceutical materials science. In parallel, my work also involves analytical methods development using X-ray diffraction, thermal analysis, mechanical testing, and other means of solid materials characterization.

My first introduction to the pharmaceutical sciences was in solid dosage form formulation and manufacturing. I combined that early experience with interests and advanced training in materials science and solid-state chemistry to form the basis for my research at Duquesne. Much of my work focuses on using the structure of small molecule organic materials to predict physicochemical responses of these solids as they are processed – alone or in the presence of other ingredients. One area, in which I have been involved since 2000, investigates the predisposition of certain materials to undergo mechanically activated solid-state phase transformations under high mechanical stresses, such as those experienced during large-scale drug product manufacturing. A second key research area involves using materials properties and molecular descriptors to help predict attributes of API that enable them to form amorphous solid dispersions in specific polymers. This particular research area grew from a 2012 project that was initially funded through a NIPTE/FDA opportunity, during which my group developed an in-house suite of characterization methods used to categorize materials for use in our phenomenological modeling. More recently, I’ve begun investigating how engineered drug-polymer composite microparticles can be used to improve intranasal retention and mucosal permeation following particle insufflation. Whatever the avenue, I look forward to future opportunities to take my fascination with the internal structure of solid materials and continue to discover new ways in which that can be used to improve pharmaceutical product quality and better health outcomes.

Reflections on My Time in the Morris Group at Purdueoluble Drugs

Ken Morris was a Professor in the Industrial and Physical Pharmacy Department at Purdue University
from 1997-2007, where he trained students in a wide range of topics, broadly falling under the theme of
Pharmaceutical Materials Science. Presented here is a brief tribute to Ken’s work at Purdue, and his
influence on graduate students, postdocs, and visiting scientists.