Controlled Release Society honors Raghu Ganugula

College of Pharmacy assistant research scientist receives recognition from drug delivery science society
June 15, 2018

Raghu Ganugula, PhD, an assistant research scientist at the Texas A&M Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy, is this year’s recipient of the T. Nagai Postdoctoral Research Achievement Award from Controlled Release Society (CRS). The award recognizes outstanding postdoctoral research achievement in controlled science and technology, highlighting both postdoctoral fellows and their advisors. Ganugula and his principal advisor, Ravikumar Majeti, PhD, will receive the award at the CRS annual meeting this July in New York City.

CRS is a nonprofit organization that promotes the science and technology of controlled release. Controlled release of drugs takes place when they are delivered at predetermined intervals or incrementally over a certain timeframe without having to take multiple doses. This form of drug delivery can possibly overcome side effects of the drugs without compromising benefits.

The pharmaceutical field is the key component behind this organization’s growth. With its core focus in physical science—which includes formulation, processing and chemistry—and drawing on multiple experts from biology, medicine and physics, this organization aims to be the premier global society for delivery science. A society for experts, such as drug delivery scientists, engineers and clinicians, these members are contributing to fundamental delivery research, development, regulatory science and clinical translation.

Ganugula has a background in translational medicine, with more than 12 years’ experience in multidisciplinary research. His expertise is in pharmacology—the study of biological effects of drugs. His research covers in vitro and in vivo pharmacology. Whereas in vitro testing takes place outside a living organism, such as by using sample tissues, in vivo testing observes drug effects inside a living organism.

Using multiple techniques and models, Ganugula has illuminated transport mechanisms and kinetics of next-generation nanosystems, which are physical systems engineered to a microscale. In this case, the nanosystems are designed to use receptors to transport drugs across physical barriers in the body, such as the walls of the intestine and the blood-retinal and blood-brain barriers. Ganugula also helped develop label-free tracking methods for nanosystems. In addition to developing and testing new dosage forms for drugs, he has also contributed to the identification of components of food that might have beneficial properties and the understanding of their mechanism of action in different inflammatory conditions.

He joined Majeti, a professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the College of Pharmacy, for drug delivery research in 2014. Prior to this, Ganugula served four years as a postdoctoral fellow at National Institute of Nutrition in India. He has a PhD in biotechnology from Acharya Nagarjuna University, India.

“I am excited and happy to have received this award. I am thankful to Dr. Majeti for his constant encouragement and mentoring,” Ganugula said. “I am also thankful to my parents. Although my father is a carpenter and my mother a housewife, they understood the value of medical science and always encouraged me to pursue this field. Today, with their blessings, I am here.”

— Tamim Choudhury

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