Catalent announces winners of Global Academic Competition for Life Science Leaders of Tomorrow

Posted: 16 May 2012 | | No comments yet

“This competition allows us to acknowledge some of the world’s best emerging talent…”

Catalent Pharma Solutions announced the winners of the company’s Global Academic Competition for Life Science Leaders of Tomorrow, a program that aimed to identify the world’s premiere scientific talent and innovative research at the university level, while rewarding academic excellence. Graduate students from St. John’s University and Purdue University received first-place and runner-up awards.

“This competition allows us to acknowledge some of the world’s best emerging talent in the pharmaceutical sciences,” said Rao Tatapudy, Vice President of Scientific Affairs, Innovation & Growth at Catalent Pharma Solutions, and chairperson of the global competition. “We were very excited to offer this university partnership program, and to further strengthen our ongoing partnerships with academia, while at the same time offering graduate students in pharmacy exposure to a global leader in drug delivery and formulation.”

Sponsored by Catalent Pharma Solutions, and with St. John’s University as the academic lead for the program, the competition was open to university students enrolled in graduate programs in pharmaceutical science, industrial pharmacy, drug delivery, drug development, or related disciplines. Participants were asked to submit either an original research article focusing on challenges in drug development and/or drug delivery, or a research proposal that clearly described an original, innovative research project in drug development/delivery. Among the schools invited to participate were Purdue University, the University of Mississippi, Rutgers University, the University of Maryland, Ohio State University, University of Bristol, UK and the Chatenay Malabry Pharmacy School, France.

The first-place prize for best Research Article was awarded to Zhen Ye of St. John’s University for her paper titled, “The Development and Scale-up of Biodegradable Polymeric Nanoparticles for the Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug Ibuprofen.” Pulkit Khatri of St. John’s University took first place for best Research Proposal on the “Construction of Recombinant Lactococus Lactis for Oral Delivery of Glucagon Like Peptide-1 Fused to Cell Penetrating Peptide for the Treatment of Type-2 Diabetes.” Runner-up Trung Xuan Nguyen from Purdue University won for his proposal titled, “The Design, Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Indenoisoquinolines as Potent Dual Topoisomerase 1, Tyrosyl-DNA Phosphodiesterase 1 inhibitors.”

“We are proud to have participated as the lead academic partner in The Global Academic Competition for Life Science Leaders of Tomorrow, and could not be more pleased with the outcome,” commented Louis D. Trombetta, Ph.D., Chairperson of the St. John’s University College of Pharmacy. “The performance of our graduate students in the competition really showcases our pharmacy program and the innovative research taking place on our campus.”

The first-place winners of the competition received a $5,000 cash prize and an opportunity to intern at Catalent Pharma Solutions. Their awards were presented at a special ceremony on May 14, 2012 at Catalent’s facility in Somerset, NJ, where the winners met with Catalent scientists as they toured the facility.

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