PharmE3D Labs Earn Multiple Pharmaceutical Science Distinctions

September 10, 2021

The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy’s Pharmaceutical Engineering and 3D Printing (PharmE3D) labs, led by Assistant Professor in Molecular Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery Mohammed (Mo) Maniruzzaman, Ph.D., has recently earned several national and international awards and scholarships for outstanding research contributions to the field of pharmaceutical science and technology. Work in the PharmE3D labs focuses on pharmaceutical process engineering, continuous manufacturing and 3D printing of medicines. Additional projects focus on 3D bioprinting of scaffolds and smart medical implants as well as ultra-portable drug delivery devices.

A man smiling.
Dr. Mo Maniruzzaman.

Mo Maniruzzaman, Ph.D. is a recipient of the 2021 NIPTE Rising Star Scholarship Award. The accolade is awarded annually by the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Technology and Education and given to early career investigators for outstanding scientific achievements in pharmaceutical science and technology. The prize includes a $1,000 award, a research award of up to $10,000 and a gold-plated plaque.

“I always thought I’d like to be part of creating innovations that help people. Conducting research in pharmaceutical science and technology to develop better medicines has offered me that opportunity,” says Maniruzzaman. “I’m indebted to our division and the College of Pharmacy for providing us a unique platform and all sponsors for the resources and support on which our research could thrive. I’m incredibly proud of my dynamic team that continues to play a key role in delivering excellence throughout our research and grateful to my family whose unwavering support and sacrifices make this possible.”

A man smiling.
Rishi Thakkar.

Rishi Thakkar, a third-year Ph.D. student from PharmE3D labs, earned the 2021 NIPTE Outstanding Student Researcher Award. The award committee was impressed by Thakkar’s scientific achievements and leadership capabilities and considers him a future leader in the field. His current research focuses on novel manufacturing strategies for poorly water-soluble drugs. The award is given to graduate students with outstanding scientific achievements in the areas of pharmaceutical science and technology. The prize includes an up to $3,000 award and gold-plated plaque.

“I am truly grateful to Drs. Mo Maniruzzaman and Bill Williams for nominating me and the NIPTE award committee for appreciating my work in the field of pharmaceutical sciences with this award,” says Thakkar. “My research on 3D printing dosage forms is challenging which makes it extremely interesting and overcoming these hurdles is much more fun with amazing collaborators and a dynamic advisor and mentor like Dr. Mo.”

Thakkar was also awarded the International Pharmaceutical Excipients Council of the Americas (IPEC-Americas) Foundation’s 2021 Graduate Student Award for his outstanding contributions to the formulation of science and technology through innovative research with excipients. The winners will be recognized during the IPEC Foundation’s annual awards ceremony that will take place in Philadelphia, Penn. on Oct. 17. Thakkar has also received three American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) PharmSci 360 Best Abstract Awards (2019, 2020, 2021) and the organization’s 2021 Travelship Award supported by AstraZeneca.

A man smiling.
Dr. Jiaxiang Zhang.

Dr. Jiaxiang Zhang, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Maniruzzaman labs, was also awarded an AAPS Travelship Grant to attend the organization’s 2021 PharmSci 360 conference that will take place in Philadelphia, Penn. from Oct. 17-20, 2021. Zhang earned the award for his research abstract in pharmaceutical additive manufacturing to develop personalized dosage forms.

The College of Pharmacy’s Pharmaceutical Engineering and 3D Printing (PharmE3D) labs represent a state-of-the-art facility established in 2019 with faculty start-up support and a Faculty Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention (STARs) award. The labs are housed within the Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery in UT’s College of Pharmacy and are dedicated to pharmaceutical continuous manufacturing, process engineering, 3D printing and 3D bioprinting.