Profile: AIChE Institute Lecturer Leads the Study of Microneedle Drug Application | AIChE

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Profile: AIChE Institute Lecturer Leads the Study of Microneedle Drug Application


Mark Prausnitz

Since publishing his first article in 1998, Mark Prausnitz has been at the forefront of pharmaceutical technology innovation, developing novel methods of drug delivery using microneedles, lasers, and other microdevices. His work as a researcher and industry leader has dramatically increased the viability and visibility of this technology. Prausnitz is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and he is Regents’ Professor, Regents’ Entrepreneur, and the J. Erskine Love, Jr., Chair in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), where he has completed the majority of his research. It is for this work, both in academia and in industry, that he has been chosen by AIChE to deliver the John M. Prausnitz AIChE Institute Lecture at the 2023 AIChE Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL, on Nov. 8. His lecture, “Translation of Biomedical Microtechnologies From the Lab to the Clinic,” will discuss his experience advancing biotechnological innovations from the lab to successful start-ups. This lecture, coincidentally, was named after his father.

“I think my father was surprised when he learned I was choosing chemical engineering as a major,” Prausnitz says, recalling his early interest in science. “But it was a science-oriented home.” Prausnitz’s father was an accomplished chemical engineer who made advancements in the study of the thermodynamics of phase equilibria. Although he hesitates to draw a direct correlation between his father’s work and his own career path, his talent for chemistry showed itself in high school, and this guided his path to university. “I especially enjoy using basic science to solve problems, and that led me to chemical engineering.”

Prausnitz’s work today centers on novel methods of drug delivery that go beyond the traditional hypodermic needle. By using microneedle patches that deliver pharmaceuticals transdermally with little-to-no irritation, the technology reconciles user comfort and convenience, easier distribution and storage, and a variety of unique functional capabilities...

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