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Divisions Featured Fellows General Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics,
Grayson Mendenhall
February 4, 2016

Elizabeth Gurysh, Ph.D.
Elizabeth Gurysh, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Gurysh, Ph.D., was awarded the pharmaceutics postdoctoral fellowship by the PhRMA Foundation, whose mission is to support young scientists in disciplines important to the pharmaceutical industry to encourage them to pursue careers in research and education related to drug discovery. The fellowship is a $40,000 per year stipend for two years to further develop and refine her research skills in pharmaceutics as a postdoctoral fellow.

Pharmaceutics is the science of drug-delivery systems that emphasizes a quantitative understanding and use of the principles underlying drug delivery and drug transport. It is a multidisciplinary science with significant underpinnings from basic sciences such as physical chemistry, physical organic chemistry and biophysics.

Gurysh is a first-year postdoctoral fellow who started at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy at the end of June. She graduated in May 2015 with a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Wake Forest University.

Gurysh is a member of the lab of Kristy Ainslie, Ph.D., in the Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics, which develops translational drug-delivery platforms using scalable processes. The team uses an integrative approach that applies their knowledge base in biomaterials, cellular biology and transport phenomena to develop novel-drug delivery systems, Gurysh said.

“Our current project is in collaboration with Dr. Shawn Hingtgen and is a treatment for glioblastoma, which currently has poor clinical outcomes because the tumor is invasive, making it difficult to completely remove surgically,” she said. “The therapeutic idea is that once the the tumor is removed, the surgeon would implant our scaffold, which has controlled release of a cocktail of drugs that can be tailored to match a patient’s specific tumor. These drugs will work together to eliminate the cancer cells that couldn’t be removed surgically, hopefully to reduce the recurrence of the tumor.”

Gurysh said she has enjoyed the faculty and research environment during her time at UNC and is looking forward to the years of pharmaceutics research ahead. “The research happening here is very exciting. I love that it is such a collaborative environment and that clinical translation is always a main focus.”

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