Michael Jay, Ph.D.

Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor Chair - DPMP Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Michael Jay, Ph.D., received his B.S. in pharmacy from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1976 and his Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences/medicinal chemistry from the University of Kentucky in 1980. He was an assistant professor of nuclear medicine at the University of Connecticut Health Center from 1980 to 1981 and then returned to the University of Kentucky as an assistant professor of medicinal chemistry in 1981 and rose through the academic ranks. By the end of his twenty-seven years at the University of Kentucky, he was professor of pharmaceutics and professor of radiology. He also served as the director of graduate studies from 1992 to 1998 and director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Science & Technology from 1998 to 2007.

He moved to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008, where he was named the Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor of Pharmacoengineering & Molecular Pharmaceutics. He served as director of graduate admissions for the Division of Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics until 2012, when he was named division chair. He also holds a joint appointment as Professor of Biomedical Engineering.

Dr. Jay has received a number of awards, including the Berson-Yalow Award from the Society of Nuclear Medicine, the Mendell Award for Scientific Excellence in Pharmaceutical Sciences, the Excellence in Pharmaceutical Graduate Education Award from the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Kentucky. He was also named as a Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists. Dr. Jay has also been an active entrepreneur having co-founded Arcato Laboratories, Inc., Capture Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Nami Therapeutics Corp. He also serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of Panaceutics, Inc. and Dignify Therapeutics, Inc.


Jay’s research projects involve the development and commercialization of drug formulations and targeted delivery systems. These include orally bioavailable chelators for the decorporation of radioactive elements (americium and plutonium) that may be used in ‘dirty bombs‘ as well as for enhancing the elimination of other heavy metals (gadolinium and lead) from contaminated individuals. Other research projects include the development of radiotherapeutic nanoparticles for the treatment of gynecological cancers, sustained-release formulations for oral health applications, and intranasal formulations of peptides for the treatment of neurologically-impaired patients.

  • 1976-1980: University of Kentucky Ph.D. (Pharmaceutical Sciences/Medicinal Chemistry)
  • 1971-1976: State University of New York at Buffalo B.S. (Pharmacy)
  • Registered Pharmacist in New York and Kentucky
  • JE Huckle, MP Sadgrove, RJ Mumper and M Jay. Species-Dependent Chelation of 241Am by DTPA Di-ethyl Ester. Health Physics. 108:443-450 (2015).
  • JE Huckle, MP Sadgrove, E Pacyniak, MGD Leed, WM Weber, M Doyle-Eisele, RA Guilmette, BJ Agha, RL Susick, RJ Mumper and M Jay.  Orally Administered DTPA di-ethyl ester for decorporation of 241Am in dogs: Assessment of safety and efficacy in an inhalation-contamination model.  Int J Rad Biol. 91(7):568-75 (2015).
  • JE Huckle, MP Sadgrove, Marina GD Leed, YT Yang, RJ Mumper, RC Semelka and M Jay. Synthesis and Physicochemical Characterization of a Di-ethyl Ester Prodrug of DTPA and its Investigation as an Oral Decorporation Agent in Rats. AAPS Journal. 18:972-980 (2016).
  • RC Semelka, CW Commander, M Jay, LMB Burke and M Ramalho. Presumed Gadolinium Toxicity in Subjects with Normal Renal Function:  A Report of 4 Cases.  Invest. Radiol.  51:661-665 (2016).
  • RC Semelka, J Ramalho, A Vakhharia, M Al Obaidy, LM Brubaker, M Jay and M Ramalho. Gadolinium Deposition Disease: Initial Description of a Disease That has Been Around for a While.  Magnetic Resonance Imaging. 34:1383-1390 (2016).
  • JP Prybylski, E Maxwell, C Coste-Sanchez and M Jay. Gadolinium deposition in the brain: lessons learned from other metals known to cross the blood-brain barrier.  Magnetic Resonance Imaging. 34:1366-1372 (2016).
  • JP Prybylski, RC Semelka and M Jay. Can gadolinium be re-chelated in vivo? Considerations from decorporation therapy.  Magnetic Resonance Imaging. 34:1391-1393 (2016).
  • M Ramalho, J Ramalho, M Jay, L Burke and RC Semelka.  Gadolinium Toxicity and Treatment. Magnetic Resonance Imaging. 34:1394-1398 (2016).
  • JP Prybylski, RC Semelka and M Jay. The stability of gadolinium-based contrast agents in human serum: a reanalysis of literature data and association with clinical outcomes. Magnetic Resonance Imaging. 38:145-151 (2017).
  • J Kim, ZX Luo, Y Wu, X Lu and M Jay. In-Situ Formation of Holmium Oxide in Pores of Mesoporous Carbon Nanoparticles as Substrates for Neutron-Activatable Radiotherapeutics. Carbon. 117:92-99 (2017).
  • JP Prybylski and M Jay. The impact of excess ligand on the retention of nonionic, linear gadolinium-based contrast agents in patients with various levels of renal dysfunction: a review and simulation analysis.  Adv. Chronic Kidney Dis. 24:176-182 (2017).
  • J Kim and M Jay. Neutron-Activatable Radionuclide Cancer Therapy Using Graphene Oxide Nanoplatelets. Int J Nucl Med Biol. 52:42-28 (2017).
  • J Kim, RJ Narayan, X Lu and M Jay. Neutron-Activatable Needles for Radionuclide Therapy of Solid Tumors. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A, 2017:105A:3273–3280.
  • J Bae, TA Johnston, R Chaiittianan, K Sutthanut, M Jay and L Marson. Characterization and in vivo efficacy of a heptapeptide ODT formulation for the treatment of neurogenic bladder dysfunction. Int J Pharmaceut. 536:397-404 (2018).

Michael Jay News

  • Jay Receives University Distinguished Teaching Award

    Michael Jay, Ph.D., Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor of Molecular Pharmaceutics, is the 2016 recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award for Postbaccalaureate Instruction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Jay will be recognized along with other recipients during … Continued

  • Bob Dupuis

    Students Select 2015 Instructors of the Year

    Each PharmD class at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy selected their favorite instructors for this past year. The winners were presented with an instructor of the year award at the 2015 annual Awards Ceremony held April 19. The overall … Continued

  • stem cells

    Pharmacoengineering at UNC Gets $1.8 Million Boost

    The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has received $1.8 million through the Research Opportunities Initiative Awards from the University of North Carolina General Administration to support research into drug-delivery systems for … Continued

  • Michael Jay

    Jay Receives University of Kentucky Pharmaceutical Sciences Alumni Award

    Michael Jay, PhD, has been named the 2014 University of Kentucky Outstanding Graduate Program Alumnus for the Pharmaceutical Sciences. Jay is the Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor and chair of the Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics at the UNC Eshelman School of … Continued