Professor Amparo Galindo has been named Imperial’s Lilly/Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair in Pharmaceutical Molecular Systems.
Professor Galindo, from Imperial College London’s Department of Chemical Engineering is one of seven Research Chairs and Senior Research Fellows awarded to exceptional engineering researchers by the Royal Academy of Engineering this year. The posts will enable them to address some of the biggest challenges faced by the engineering industry.
She said: “I am honoured and thrilled to be made Lilly Chair, and I look forward to improving the drugs process to benefit both patients and the environment.”
Pharmaceutical revenues worldwide exceeded $1 trillion in 2014 with the UK market value at $30 billion. At the core of the business a large amount of time, money and effort is dedicated to drug discovery and development, which remains notoriously challenging.
My scientific goal is to make the active ingredient in drugs more soluble. Increasing solubility means it’s more easily absorbed by the body, so produces less waste. This is better for both patients and the environment. Professor Amparo Galindo Department of Chemical Engineering
Most failures when developing new drugs are because of poor solubility, which results in low absorption in the body and drugs ending up in wastewater. Professor Galindo and her group will develop new tools to model the behaviour of molecules in different environments, enabling researchers to predict whether the solubility of potential drug compounds merits further development.
These new tools are based on recent advances in multiscale modelling and state-of-the-art numerical methods, and have the potential to revolutionise drug discovery, design and manufacturing.
Professor Galindo said: “My scientific goal is to make the active ingredient in drugs more soluble. Increasing solubility means it’s more easily absorbed by the body, so produces less waste. This is better for both patients and the environment.”
Professor Galindo will help to develop the necessary methods and tools to deliver reliable predictions about drug solubility, addressing the challenge of predicting the solubility of the active pharmaceutical ingredient in changing conditions. The generic tools and scientific developments of this programme will also impact other sectors, such as the consumer goods, food and oil and gas industries.
The scheme is intended to enhance the links between academia and businesses with each of the prestigious five-year positions co-sponsored by an industrial partner.
Professor Galindo’s Chair is co-sponsored by the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company. She and her fellow awardees are also expected to establish world-leading research groups in their field of engineering.
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