Department of Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery
The University of Mississippi

News and Current Events

Department of Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery

Honors and Awards

Dr. Michael A. Repka has been invited to provide a keynote presentation on Hot Melt Extrusion at the European International Conference on Pharmaceutical Technology in Portugal in April 2014. He recently was invited to provide a talk at the Royal Society Symposium, “Case Studies on Melt Extrusion Applications for Pediatric and Geriatric Patients”, UK, October, 2013. Dr. Repka also has been invited to speak at another 6 symposia/workshops in 2014. In addition, Dr. Repka was lead Editor for the book, Melt Extrusion, Materials, Technology and Drug Product Design, which was released at the AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Antonio, TX in November 2013.

Dr. Michael A. Repka was recently elected Chair of the Formulation Design and Development (FDD) Section within the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences (AAPS). The FDD Section is the largest section within that 12,000 member national association. He was also awarded the prestigious Fellow status within AAPS (the first at Ole Miss in over 20 years), which he received in Chicago in 2012.

For more information on AAPS, please click here.

In addition, Dr. Repka was invited to serve as Associate Editor for the prestigious journal, AAPS PharmSciTech and he was also appointed Editor for North America for the Journal of Drug Delivery Science and Technology.

Departmental Awards

Faculty Focus

Dr. S. Narasimha Murthy

Pharmaceutics Professor Receives ‘New Investigator’ AwardSince joining the pharmacy school faculty in 2006, S. Narasimha Murthy has received three National Institutes of Health research grants and directed six graduate students and two postdoctoral research fellows. Under the assistant professor of pharmaceutics’ tutelage, those students and fellows have published dozens of papers in peer-reviewed journals, secured a few research grants on their own and received several professional honors.

Murthy’s NIH-funded research focuses on developing an electrically mediated technique to deliver iron through the skin of anemic patients. He already has invented several novel technologies to treat skin and nail diseases, including one that uses electric current to drive antifungal drugs into the plate of fingernails and toenails to treat onychomycosis. His research group also has developed a noninvasive technique to sample drugs from the skin, enabling researchers and others to determine how much of the medications reach the skin after they’re administered.

Recognizing these and other accomplishments this fall, the school presented Murthy with its inaugural New Investigator Research Award, which includes an engraved plaque and a $1,500 check. Michael A. Repka, Murthy’s department chair, nominated him for the award.

“Dr. Murthy has established himself as a notable researcher in the area of noninvasive drug-delivery systems by developing several innovative concepts and technologies in this field,” Repka said. “In conjunction with his prolific publishing record, he will emerge as an established researcher and enhance the national and international recognition of the department, school and university.”

Murthy is on the editorial board of Recent Patents on Drug Delivery and Formulation, Clinical Medicine-Dermatology, Open Dermatology Journal, Chronicles of Young Scientists and Scientia Pharmaceutica.

Murthy, who plans to pursue his research and other endeavors with renewed vigor, said, “It is very motivating to receive this award. My special thanks to Dr. Repka, Dean (Barbara) Wells and the school’s administration.”

It is unusual for a new faculty member to have accomplished so much in so little time, said Charles D. Hufford, the pharmacy school’s associate dean for research.

“Although he has been on our faculty for only four years, his drug-delivery research is already well-funded by the NIH, and he has proven he is committed to the professional development of students and young investigators,” Hufford said. “He is a well-deserving first recipient of our New Investigator Research Award.”

In addition to 50 journal articles, Murthy authored seven chapters on drug-delivery systems in the “Advances in Industrial Pharmacy” textbook. He also edited two textbooks released this fall and helped edit another to be released next year. As a series editor for Taylor and Francis Publishers, he will help bring out a number of textbooks on the theme “Drug Delivery Systems: Design by Disease.”

Murthy is on the editorial board of Recent Patents on Drug Delivery and Formulation, Clinical Medicine-Dermatology, Open Dermatology Journal, Chronicles of Young Scientists and Scientia Pharmaceutica. He also reviews manuscripts for 23 journals, including the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Research and Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

The American Pharmacists Association recognized him as one of the top 20 reviewers in 2008 and 2009, and MIT’s Indian Business Club, a student body addressing South Asia’s business needs, presented Murthy with a Global Indus Technovators Award in 2009. The award, which focuses on “emerging technologies bound to have a far-reaching impact on the world,” recognizes “distinguished young innovators working at the confluence of technology, research and entrepreneurship.”

Graduate Students

Srinivasa Murthy Sammeta

  • Third place, Graduate student poster competition – Annual Poster Session of the National Center for Natural Products Research, School of Pharmacy, Univeristy of Mississippi (2009).
  • AstraZeneca Traveship Award, 2009 AAPS Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA (November 2009).
  • Center of Research Excellence in Natural Porducts Neuroscience (CORE-NPN) Fellowship (November 2009).
  • Best Oral Presentation, PharmForum 2010 (May 2010).

Siva Ram Kiran Vaka

  • Center of Research Excellence in Natural Products Neuroscience (CORE-NPN) Fellowship (November 2009).
  • Best Poster Presentation, PharmForum 2010 (May 2010).
  • FIP-PSWC/AAPS Travelship Award, New Orleans, LA, 2010.

Ajinkya Bhagurkar

  • Winner (second place) for the podium presentation in Physical and Life Sciences category at the Graduate Student Council’s 7th Annual Research Symposium at the University of Mississippi (March 2017).
  • Awarded Graduate Student Council Research Grant ($1,000.00) for 2016-2017.
  • Winner (second place) of the 3-Minute Thesis competition organized by the Graduate School of the University of Mississippi (Nov 2016).
  •  Awarded Graduate Student Council Research Grant ($1,000.00) for 2015-2016.
  • Awarded the Graduate Research Assistantship for the summer by the Graduate School (May 2016).