Michael Jay Lab
I joined the faculty at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy in 2008 after a twenty-seven-year career at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy. Prior to that, I had been at the University of Connecticut for one and a half years in the Department of Nuclear Medicine.
Growing up at a time when there was great concern about nuclear weapons (fallout from bomb tests, the Berlin Wall, the Cuban missile crisis, etc.) I was fascinated by radioactivity. While attending Pharmacy School in Buffalo, NY, I wondered if I could combine my interests in pharmaceuticals with radioactivity. I took a newly designed course on radiopharmaceuticals and was hooked from that point on. In graduate school I was fortunate enough to travel to Oak Ridge National Laboratories, where I used the large cyclotron there to make positron-emitting radionuclides that I ultimately incorporated into biologically-interesting molecules. I have continued this theme of working at the interface between the pharmaceutical and nuclear sciences throughout my career. This includes the application of pharmaceutical approaches to solve problems related to nuclear imaging and therapy, and the use of radioanalytical approaches to solve problems encountered in the development of novel formulations and drug-delivery systems. My career has come full-circle back to my childhood as I am now working on drugs to treat victims of nuclear terrorism.
Another theme I have focused on is to do research that is fun. While there have been some challenging moments, I have enjoyed almost every minute of it. I have had the pleasure to have trained twenty-eight MS and PhD students and another thirty-five postdoctoral fellows, as well as numerous undergraduate students.
My scientific academic career has taken me around the world to places that, in my youth, I never thought I would have seen. It has been a great ride so far and I look forward to many more years of fun.