Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Process could help drug companies with simpler quality assurance, student finds

[Excerpt from the University of Windsor Daily News - to see the full article, click here]

Pharmaceutical companies may find it faster and easier to assure the quality of their drugs, thanks to the findings of a PhD student in chemistry.~
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy—technology normally associated with medical diagnostics—is a simpler method than the time-consuming techniques pharmaceutical companies currently use to make sure drugs such as painkillers or allergy medications remain effective through the manufacturing process, said Hiyam Hamaed.

When drugs are made, they're created in liquid solution and then transformed into a solid state for manufacturing, packaging, and shipping. Some substances crystallize in varying forms; each of these polymorphs has different properties which can influence the way people metabolize drugs, as well as their shelf life, packing, and handling. To see what final form the polymorphs have taken, pharmaceutical companies will try to make single crystals out of their drugs for molecular X-ray analysis, which can be painstakingly slow or sometimes impossible, Hamaed said.

"The problem is obtaining a single crystal," said Hamaed, who defended her thesis last week. "This can be very difficult. Crystals can be very hard to make."

Hamaed said NMR can be used to analyze the molecular structure of solid pharmaceuticals, eliminating the need to form crystals. Her work focused on the hydrochloride salts, often the most stable forms of many solid pharmaceuticals. She found that NMR is a better method for determining the identity and purity of these pharmaceuticals when standard methods, such as X-ray diffraction, fail.
"These are very fast experiments," said chemistry professor Rob Schurko, Hamaed’s academic advisor. "We can take a snapshot and quickly confirm whether a polymorph has formed. Each NMR signature acts as a fingerprint for each type of pharmaceutical or polymorph."

[Excerpt from the University of Windsor Daily News - to see the full article, click here]
To read more about Dr. Schurko's research, visit his homepage at:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ontario Graduate Scholarships Announced

Congratulations to the following students for obtaining Ontario Graduate Scholarships!
Michael Bolla (Loeb)
Chris Bonham (Vacratsis)
Eric Bushnell (Gauld)
Chris Caputo (Loeb)
Marcel Hildebrand (Schurko)
Bryan Lucier (Schurko)
Michael Miller (Carmichael)
Vedran Vukotic (Loeb)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

NSERC Graduate Awards

Chemistry had a great showing this year, with five graduate NSERC awards!

PGSD3 - Bushnell, Eric (Gauld)
CGSM - Caputo, Christopher (Loeb)
CGSM - Filiatrault, Heather (Carmichael)
PGSD3 - Miller, Michael (Carmichael)
CGSM - Vukotic, Vedran (Loeb)

Congratulations to all of our awardees!

Undergraduate Summer Research Awardees

Congratulations to our Undergraduate Summer Researchers, who obtained scholarships from NSERC to support their work in our department this summer:

Carolyn Adams (Loeb)
Ryan McLarty (Mutus)
Chris Mireault (Schurko)
Phillip Tremblay (Pandey)
Alex Reidel (Schurko)
Jordan Prince (Vacratsis)
Jennifer Nguyen (Macdonald)
Jessica Smith (Pandey)
Michael-Anthony Ferrato (Carmichael)
Gyllian Porteous (Carmichael)