Professor of engineering, pharmaceutics invited to join President Bush’s Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Group

July 9, 2003

AUSTIN, Texas—Dr. Nicholas Peppas, professor of chemical engineering, biomedical engineering and pharmaceutics at The University of Texas at Austin, has been invited to join the President Bush’s Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Group, which will assist the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in its review of federal nanotechnology research and development programs.

The group will be a source of technical facts and information as needed by the council.

The elite group consists of 20 experts in nanotechnology representing a range of disciplines. Dr. Peppas was chosen because of his expertise in bionanotechnology, drug delivery, biosensers, sensing and therapeutic devices.

Dr. Peppas’ research projects focus on drug delivery systems that eliminate insulin injections by diabetics, “nano-robots” that circulate through the human body removing harmful substances, improved materials for contact lenses and laser surgery implants.

He came to Austin following a 27-year career at Purdue University, where, among other distinctions, he became the most-cited U.S. authority in biomedical engineering worldwide, according to The Institute for Scientific Information. At The University of Texas at Austin he holds appointments in the College of Engineering’s departments of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and the Division of Pharmaceutics within the College of Pharmacy.

His research group has pioneered an oral delivery system for insulin in which the insulin is “protected” throughout its transport through the stomach, upper small intestine and, eventually, blood, bypassing diabetics’ need for several daily injections. This was the first time an oral system was shown to be effective for oral delivery of proteins, especially insulin. His group has also invented new materials for hard, oxygen-permeable contact lenses and for the reconstruction of vocal cords. 

Dr. Peppas is the Paul D. and Betty Robertson Meek Centennial Professor of Chemical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Pharmaceutics and holds the Cockrell Family Regents Chair.

For more information contact: Becky Rische, College of Engineering, 512-471-7272.