2017 VCU RDD Peter R. Byron Graduate Student Award

In recognition of Peter's accomplished career and influence on respiratory drug delivery, his former graduate students, academic colleagues and personal friends established the VCU RDD Peter R. Byron Graduate Student Award. This award is funded by an endowment at Virginia Commonwealth University's Medical College of Virginia Foundation.

Over the course of his forty-year career, Peter has taught and mentored hundreds of students, and created and nurtured the Respiratory Drug Delivery conference. It is a fitting tribute that the VCU RDD Peter R. Byron Award be selected from among graduate students attending Respiratory Drug Delivery to present their research.

Cordula Weiss is awarded the
2017 VCU RDD Peter R. Byron Graduate Student Award
for excellence in research, and understanding and
defense of her work at RDD Europe 2017

Peter R Byron Award
Cordula with Peter Byron.

The 2017 VCU Peter R. Byron Graduate Student Award was presented to Cordula Weiss, a graduate student at the Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland. Cordula's research focuses on the impact of crystallization parameters on the material characteristics of crystalline APIs including beclomethasone dipropionate and how these properties in turn influence the performance of a model binary DPI formulation. Cordula presented her research 'Synthesis and Materials Characterization of Beclomethasone Dipropionate (BDP) Solvates as Precursors for Anhydrous BDP Particles for Dry Powder Formulations' in the Scientific Poster Session. Cordula is also involved in science communication with WIT's science outreach centre.

Previous Awardees

2016 - Matthias Van Woensel

Peter R Byron Award
Matthew with Dean DiPiro and Peter Byron.

The 2016 the inaugural award was presented to Matthias Van Woensel, a graduate student at ULeuven and ULB, Brussels, in a joint-doctorate program. Matthias' research focuses on the development of intranasal formulations that can transport active molecules from the nasal cavity directly into the central nervous system, to combat brain tumors, in particular glioblastoma. Matthias presented his research in the Scientific Poster Session and was also selected to present 'Development of siRNA-loaded Chitosan Nanoparticles targeting Galectin-1 for the Treatment of Glioblastoma Multiforme via Intranasal Administration' during Posters on the Podium.

About Peter R. Byron

Peter Byron is an Emeritus Professor and Director of RDD Conferences at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Pharmacy in Richmond, Virginia. Prior to arriving at VCU in 1988, he held academic appointments at Aston University, Birmingham, England, and the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy. Peter is a Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and has served as Chairman of the Aerosols Expert Committee of the United States Pharmacopeia and USP representative on the European Pharmacopiea’s Inhalanda working group (1995 – 2005).

Peter has a B.Sc. in Pharmacy and Ph.D. in Immunology, both from Manchester University, England and holds a number of patents relating to inhaler development. He has been a reviewer and editorial board member for several scientific journals, taught widely at undergraduate and graduate levels throughout the Pharmacy curriculum, and led the internationally recognized Aerosol Research Group in Richmond, investigating physicochemical and formulation factors controlling drug and aerosol generation, deposition, and chemical disposition in the lung.

From the early days in the USA, Peter sought ways to bring together academics, researchers, and entrepreneurs to share their expertise in the rapidly evolving field of inhaled drug delivery. To that end, he created the Respiratory Drug Delivery academic symposium in 1988. Through Peter's efforts and those of others he has introduced to the field, RDD has grown from a handful of speakers and participants to the gold standard in the industry, encompassing top-notch speakers delivering fresh research, scientific poster presenters, technology exhibitors from around the world, and peer-reviewed professionally published proceedings now comprising an archive of over 2000 articles. RDD became global with the introduction of  RDD Europe and RDD Asia conferences.

Peter has never forgotten that many of the scientists on the RDD podium all began their careers as graduate students. For this reason RDD's Scientific Poster Session and Posters on the Podium have showcased the work of graduate students from around the world. For some of these students it was their first time presenting to a large, influential audience and a launch pad for their careers in pulmonary and nasal drug delivery. From classroom to conference auditorium, Peter has shown a steady commitment to fostering the careers of young scientists, mentoring students who have gone on to their own success as academics, regulators, and industrial scientists, all the while instilling them with his trademark integrity, sense of humor, and above all, an uncompromising commitment to excellence.

How to Contribute

It’s not too late to join those who have already contributed to the VCU RDD Peter R. Byron Travel Award, which will eventually support even more graduate student participation in Respiratory Drug Delivery meetings.

To make a tax deductible donation to the endowment, please visit VCU School of Pharmacy Giving. In Gift Information, select “Other”, in the “I would like to direct my gift to” and enter “VCU RDD Byron Award.”

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