The Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute and the Fralin Life Science Institute at Virginia Tech will host Claus-Michael Lehr, head of the Department of Drug Delivery of the Helmholz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research, Saarland, Germany, and head of the Department Biopharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology at Saarland University as a visiting scholar on Oct. 17-22.

"Professor Lehr is renowned internationally for his research on transport across biological membranes — a key step in the efficient delivery of pharmaceuticals to the body," said S. Richard Turner, director of the Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute.

Lehr is coauthor of more than 200 papers in the drug delivery area and has won numerous awards for his research, including the 2008 International Prize of the Belgian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences. He serves on many international and national scientific committees and has organized many workshops and conferences, including the continuing workshop and conference, "Biological Barriers," at Saarland University.

Since 1995, Lehr has coordinated the Galenos Network of Pharmaceutical Sciences and its European Ph.D. program. This network, under Lehr's leadership, grew to include more than 70 university and 10 industrial partners. He is also co-founder of the company PharmaBioTec GMbH in Saarbrucken.

The goal of the Fralin/Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute Visiting Scholar program is to enhance interdisciplinary interactions among Virginia Tech's internationally known polymeric materials community and the life sciences communities on campus. This year's theme, with Lehr's visit, will focus on important fundamental scientific issues concerning transport across biological membranes.

Dates and lecture topics are as follows.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 18 – "The Gastrointestinal Barrier"
  • Wednesday, Oct. 19  – "The Skin Barrier"
  • Thursday, Oct. 20 – "The Barrier of the Lungs"

All of the lectures will be from 10 to 11 a.m. in room 310 of the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science building, Stanger Street, on campus.

"The lectures are open to the entire Virginia Tech community. We also invite students and scientists from neighboring academic institutions to join us for this exciting learning opportunity," said Dennis Dean, director of the Fralin Life Science Institute.

Lehr will also be available to participate in informal discussions with faculty members and students. Contact Tammy Jo Hiner to schedule a meeting. Out of town visitors will find a link to directions, parking information, and a list of hotels on the Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute website.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.


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