Principle Investigator

Hugh D. C. Smyth is the Alcon Centennial Professor, College of Pharmacy, The University of Texas at Austin. He is also an Adjunct Associate Scientist at the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, NM. He is also the Editor in Chief of Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy. Dr. Smyth has started several companies resulting from technologies discovered in his laboratory including Respira Therapeutics, Nob Hill Therapeutics, Via Therapeutics, and Cloxero Therapeutics which are now advancing these technologies for clinical use. He has over 150 peer-reviewed publications, is editor of 3 books, and over 20 patents or patent applications. He has a Pharmacy and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Otago, New Zealand. He has been faculty at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and The University of New Mexico. He was the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) New Investigator award winner for Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technologies in 2007. He also received the PhRMA Foundation New Investigator Award in pharmaceutics in 2007. His laboratory focuses on novel drug delivery systems and is funded through NIH, FDA, and industry.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Dr. Matt Herpin

Matthew Herpin

B.S.: Biochemistry, The Univesity of Texas at Austin (2005)
Ph.D.: Pharmaceutic Sciences, The Univesity of Texas at Austin (2015)

Dr. Matthew Herpin is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Smyth Lab, Pharmaceutics Divisions. He currently works mainly on the development of inhaled formulations.

Amro Hefnawy

B.S.: Pharmacy and Biotechnology, the German University in Cairo (2011)
M.S.: Medicinal Chemistry, the German University in Cairo (2014)
Ph.D.: Nanoscale Science (nanomedicine – drug delivery), the University of Science and Technology, Zewail City (2020)

Dr. Amro Hefnawy is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Smyth Lab, Pharmaceutics Divisions. He currently works mainly on the development of inhaled formulations for the delivery of antimicrobial agents biologics and cancer treatments. 

Graduate Students

Shihao Cai

B.S.: Pharmaceutic Sciences, Wuhan University (2019)

Varsha Nair

B.S.: Pharmacy, Mumbai University (2017)

M.S.: Pharmaceutical Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University (2019)

My research focuses on inhalation delivery for both small and large molecules. This includes the use of particle engineering techniques to formulate stable, aerosolized dry powders of proteins as well as repurposing unstable antibiotics and delivering them in a stability imparting formulation to treat complex multi-drug resistant pulmonary infections.

Rex Moore

B.S.: Biomedical Engineering, Arizona State University (2019)
M.S.: Biomedical Engineering, Arizona State University (2020)

My research interests focus on the development of new treatment strategies for lung infections caused by bacterial biofilms by improving conventional antimicrobial formulations.

Arife Safak

Yildiz Technical University – Molecular Biology and Genetics

My studies focused on repurposing chemotherapeutic drug and inhaled drug delivery.

Beatriz Behrend

B.S.: Pharmacy, University of Valparaíso (2021)

M.S.c: Bioactivity of natural and synthetic products, University of Valparaíso (2022)

My research focuses on developing highly dispersible powder formulations for pulmonary drug delivery for humans. 


2018-2021             Li Ding (Graduate Student)

2016-2021              Patricia Martins (Graduate Student)

2016 – 2020            Ashlee Brunaugh (Graduate student)

2015 – 2019            Jasmim Leal (Graduate student)

2015 – 2019            Hairui Zhang (Graduate student)

2019 – 2020             Dr. Shahzeb Khan (Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar)

2019 – 2020             Amr Hefnawy, Visiting Scholar, Zewail City of Science and Technology

2017 – 2020             Dr. Clara Dominguez (ConTex postdoctoral fellowship awardee)

2017 – 2018             Dr. Weijun Liu (University of Tianjin Nankai Hospital, Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine Institute)

2016 – 2017             Prof. Veronica Ramirez-Rigo (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba Conicet-Baiha Blanca)

2016 – 2020             Neerali Shah, B.Pharm., MSc (Pharm Sci)

2016 – 2017             Ashkan Yazdi (Graduate student)

2016 – 2017             Dr. Yuan Zhu (Jiangsu University, Center For Nano Drug/Gene Delivery and Tissue Engineering)

2016 – 2017             Dr. Syed Umer Jan (University of Balochistan)

2016 – 2017             Dr. Frederic Tewes (University of Poitiers)

2014 – 2017             Dr. Silvia Ferrati, (the University of Texas at Houston) “Biomimetic Vesicles for Drug Delivery”

2014 – 2016             Kristin Fathe (Graduate student)

2014 – 2015             Dr. Xianfei Xie, “Controlled pulmonary drug delivery to alter and optimize the pharmacokinetics of therapeutic molecules”

2013 – 2014             Dr. Xin Li “Microfluidic Synthesis of Shape Controlled Particles”

2012 – 2014             Dr. Nihal Bandara,  (the University of Hong Kong, Microbiology and Oral Biosciences). “Drug Delivery in Biofilms” Current Position, Faculty at University of Bristol, UK

2011 – 2014             Dr. Roger Andrew Maloney, (University of New Mexico, Physics) “Particle Adhesion and Detachment”

2011-2012                Aileen Gibbons, Ph.D. (Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, Ireland) “Dry Powder Inhaler Formulations” Current Position, Director Health Care Investment Banking.

2009 – 2011             Stephen Marek, Ph.D. (The University of Texas) “Interparticulate Forces” Subsequent Position, Lecturer, Biomedical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin.

2008 – 2010              Ibrahim El-Sherbiny, Ph.D. (Massey University, New Zealand) “Hydrogels for Drug Delivery”

2008 – 2010              Parthiban Selvam, Ph.D. (Wayne State University)  “Dry Powder Inhaler Development” Subsequent Position: Scientist, Savara Pharmaceuticals

2008 – 2009              Satya Singh, Ph.D., (Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India)