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Pioneering Texas Engineer Wins Prestigious AAPS Pharmaceutical Scientist Award

Nicholas A. Peppas, professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, as well as in UT’s Dell Medical School and College of Pharmacy, has been named the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists’ (AAPS) Distinguished Award winner for 2018. He is honored for his pioneering work in protein and drug transport and release from polymer systems.

The Distinguished Pharmaceutical Scientist Award, which is sponsored by a grant from AstraZeneca, is in recognition of Peppas’ lifetime of achievements in drug delivery and the impact that his discoveries have had on industries and quality of life.

photo of nicholas peppas

Already one of the most decorated engineers in the U.S., Peppas receives the award within a month of being honored with the National Academy of Medicine’s prestigious Adam Yarmolinsky Medal.

“It has been a tremendous year for Nicholas, and this latest recognition from the AAPS is extremely well deserved,” said Sharon L. Wood, dean of the Cockrell School. “The UT community continues to be proud of his accomplishments and inspired by the impact he has made in his career.”

With over 1,600 publications — including author or co-author credits on 37 books — this isn’t the first time Peppas’ achievements have been formally acknowledged by his peers.

“Nicholas has been recognized as one of the most cited and highly published authors in gels, hydrogels and intelligent materials,” said Robert S. Langer, professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and one of the foremost bioengineers in the world. “I believe that he is the ideal person for the Distinguished Pharmaceutical Scientist Award.”

For over four decades, Peppas has made profound contributions to the pharmaceutical drug delivery field in the design of new pharmaceutical formulations and the oral delivery of drugs and therapeutic proteins — contributions that have led to the design, optimization and commercialization of numerous new products. He has been a leading researcher, inventor and pacesetter in the field of drug delivery and controlled release, a field that he nurtured into an established area of scholarly and applied research, and he is also a recognized leader in biomaterials and bio-nanotechnology.

In addition, Peppas is a recipient of numerous international awards and distinctions, including induction into the Royal Society of Chemistry and the National Academy of Inventors. He also is a member of the prestigious National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Medicine, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, French Academy of Pharmacy, Royal Academy of Spain, Academy of Athens, Chinese Academy of Engineering and The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas.