Leading Pharmaceutical Researcher Visits UL's Largest Research Institute - 2011

Professor Noel O'Dowd, Director, MSSI, Professor Nair Rodriguez-Hornedo, University of
Michigan, Professor Ake Rasmusson, UL/SSPC, Marcus O'Mahony, SSPC during a tour of MSSI facilities.

UL's largest research institute, the Materials and Surface Science Institute (MSSI) welcomed Professor Naír Rodríguez-Hornedo, Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and co-founder of the Pharmaceutical Engineering program at the University of Michigan. Professor Rodríguez-Hornedo delivered a lecture as part of the MSSI Distinguished Lecture Series. The lecture was hosted jointly by MSSI and the Solid State Pharmaceutical Cluster (SSPC), also based at the University of Limerick.

During her visit to UL, Professor Rodríguez-Hornedo toured MSSI facilities and met with representatives from the Solid State Pharmaceutical Cluster (SSPC). The SSPC has been profiled internationally as an example of a best in class inndustry - academic collaboration. This is mainly due to its research profile which is relevant to the challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry. The aim of this strategic research cluster is to link scientists and engineers in partnerships across academia and industry to address crucial research questions, foster the development of new and existing Irish-based technology companies, and grow partnerships with industry that could make an important contribution to Ireland and its economy. The visit of Professor Rodriquez-Hornedo was used to assess further potential international collaboration from an academic perspective with the SSPC.

Professor Noel O'Dowd, Director of MSSI welcomed Professor Rodríguez-Hornedo in saying; "We are delighted to host Professor Rodríguez-Hornedo at MSSI and have her share her experiences with our research faculty. The MSSI Distinguished Lecture Series provides an opportunity for PhD students, post-doctoral researchers and academics to interact with world leading researchers to develop their own capabilities and to stimulate collaborative research."

Professor Rodríguez-Hornedo has developed a research programme based on molecular-mechanistic approaches to design novel pharmaceutical materials and understand crystallization pathways that are important in controlling pharmaceutical processes and outcomes, focusing in particular on the formation of co-crystals to maximise pharmaceutical solubility.

Professor Naír RodríguezHornedo received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Puerto Rico and her Masters and PhD from the University of Wisconsin. Professor RodríguezHornedo is a fellow of IUPAC, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry and has served on the FDA Advisory Committee for Pharmaceutical Sciences. She was awarded the 2005 Ebert Prize for the best article published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and is on the Editorial Boards of Crystal Growth & Design, Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Molecular Pharmaceutics.

The Solid State Pharmaceuticals Cluster (SSPC) is a research collaboration of five universities and nine leading pharmaceutical companies which was established in 2007 with Science Foundation Ireland funding. The University of Limerick (UL) is the lead institute of the SSPC. Other academic partners include University College Dublin (UCD), University College Cork (UCC), National University College of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) and Trinity College Dublin  (TCD). The Cluster brings together leading researchers from - Pfizer, Glaxo Smith Kline, Eli Lilly, Merck Sharp and Dohme, Roche, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Bristol Meyers Squibb, Clarochem and UCB.