Monday, November 27, 2023

In October, Nicole Brogden, an associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences and experimental therapeutics, was officially named the Ting-Fong and Nei-Jia Chin Professor in Pharmaceutics. The professorship was first established in 2021 when sons Richard and Roger, along with their sister Lisa, chose to honor their parents by creating a professorship in their names.

“I was very humbled to receive this honor,” Brogden said. “Ting-Fong Chin was a highly respected member of our faculty for over 30 years, and I feel very honored to represent the Chin family name in my work as a pharmaceutical scientist.”

Nicole Brogden_2

Brogden believes the professorship will make her research program more visible in the College of Pharmacy and beyond.

“I am the first woman in our College in the basic sciences to receive such an honor, and my sincere hope is that this will inspire other young trainees in academia, particularly women training in pharmaceutics,” she said.

Brogden was bestowed the Ting-Fong and Nei-Jia Chin Professor in Pharmaceutics because of her many scholarly accomplishments. Her most recent grant, titled “A translational approach to predicting small molecule drug permeation through microneedle-treated skin,” is a five-year National Institutes of Health grant totaling $1.3 million. The grant is funded specifically through NIH’s National Institute for General Medical Sciences.  

Brogden explained the long-term goal of the research is to improve drug delivery through the skin and increase treatment options for a wide range of health conditions through development of innovative microneedle drug delivery dosage forms.

Brogden Lab

“The overall area of study is microneedle delivery of drugs,” she shared. “The work has a very translational approach, meaning that we will be performing studies at the bench as well as in human subjects. The overall purpose is to better understand how the chemical properties of a drug molecule, as well as variability in human skin properties, impact microneedle drug delivery.”

Brogden explained that this grant's inspiration started years ago when she was practicing as a pharmacist in a pediatric hospital.

“I was frustrated at the lack of options for delivering drugs in specialized patient populations, which sparked my interest in dermal drug delivery and, later, microneedles,” she said. “Several years ago, my lab conducted some microneedle studies in elderly human subjects, as well as subjects with skin of color, and we found that the skin response to the microneedles was different in these specific patient populations.”

At the same time, Brogden’s team had lab studies going on that showed how much the properties of a drug molecule can affect its delivery through the skin.

Val Cota

“This grant is really the combination of those two areas of study, stemming from my training as a pharmacist and as a scientist,” she said.

The NIH grant will allow Brogden and her team to expand the research far beyond what they would be able to do without the funds.

“It will also give us the opportunity to expand on a very understudied aspect of the microneedle research field, because microneedle studies in diverse patient populations are scarce,” she said. “Human research studies are generally very resource intensive, and with stable funding for five years, we will be able to complete microneedle studies in human subjects, while also continuing to expand on the lab research that is already taking place.”

In addition, the grant will support a strong team of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and clinical staff in the College of Pharmacy.

“This research provides a unique training opportunity because of the combination of lab studies and human subjects research, and the NIH grant makes that training environment possible for young scientists in our College,” Brogden said.