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Read Dr Luis Padrela’s SSPC journey #SSPCStories
March 5, 2019

Dr Luis Padrela, lecturer in Industrial Biochemistry, Department of Chemical Sciences, Course Director for the newly formed SSPC/University of Limerick (UL) specialist diploma in regulatory affairs in (bio)pharmaceuticals, and SSPC Funded Investigator at UL. Following his PhD, Luis worked in the pharmaceutical industry for almost 2 years (Hovione FarmaCiência, Portugal) before joining SSPC as a postdoctoral researcher and as a senior research fellow.

Research Interests:
Pharmaceutical processing for large molecule APIs (biopharmaceuticals): Isolation and stabilization of biopharmaceuticals using spray drying and freeze drying & Engineering and manufacturing of biopharmaceutical nanoparticles. Pharmaceutical processing for small molecule APIs (pharmaceuticals): Continuous crystallization and drying of drug nanoparticles, Supercritical Co2 processing  for polymorphic control & (Co)Crystal engineering.

As a Postdoctoral researcher, Luis’s research focussed on the Development of supercritical fluid and spray drying processes for tailoring drug solid-state and crystal size distributions (micro-to nanoscale) and was assistant coordinator on the LT2 SSPC project. Then moving into a Senior Research Fellow position within the Centre, Luis successfully funded as an Assistant Coordinator/Project Leader in 2016 on an US-Ireland R&D Partnership, which was funded by NSF and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), and aims to develop continuous manufacturing methods of nanoparticles for the global pharmaceutical industry. 2017 saw Luis being funded as the Entrepreneurial Lead in a highly prestigious NSF/SFI I-Corps Entrepreneurial programme, where he and his team performed customer discovery with more 110 potential customers and more than 60 pharmaceutical companies (US, Ireland and UK) on a novel pharmaceutical nanotechnology he developed. In 2018 he was awarded approx. half a Million euros by Enterprise Ireland to build his team of researchers and further develop/scale-up his nanotechnology with the objective to commercialize his nanotechnology and spin-out a company in 2 years’ time.

Being part of SSPC, Luis says he has had the opportunity to take a proactive role in leading the project “Tailoring Crystal Size Distributions for Improved Formulation Performance” and in supervising the work of a number of post-graduate students within the Centre. He had the opportunity of profiling the project to industrial partners and more widely to an international audience and on several occasions profiled the Centre on behalf SSPC’s previous Scientific Director Prof. Kieran Hodnett. Now a lecturer in Bioprocess Engineering and new Course Director for the SSPC/UL specialist diploma in regulatory affairs in (bio)pharmaceuticals, Luis has been positioned well to bring so many of his ideas to life, bring international recognition to his work and support received from SFI has been invaluable.

‘Coming to Ireland 5 years ago to work in SSPC was the best decision move in my career, as it allowed me to bring so many of my ideas to life, bring international recognition to my work and progress successfully in my career.’

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