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Drug Delivery: Engineering to Overcome Obstacles

Release Date:
8/26/2013 12:00 AM

 W. Mark Saltzman, 500 px W. Mark Saltzman, Ph.D.


The Alvine Engineering Professional Effectiveness and Enrichment Program will present a lecture by W. Mark Saltzman, Ph.D. on the field of drug delivery and its importance to the future of public health. Biomedical engineers are uniquely qualified to contribute to this effort: progress depends, for example, on the synthesis of biomaterials with tailored properties and the design of controlled release and targeted delivery vehicles. “I received my first NIH grant to study drug delivery in 1990: following good advice from mentors, the budget was low and the ambition was high.” For that work, he proposed to engineer delivery systems that would release antibodies topically in the female reproductive tract, providing long-term protection against STDs and unwanted pregnancy.  “Our work led us in some directions that we anticipated: we described our first system for long-term protection against HSV-2 genital infections in 1996.  But our instincts as biomedical engineers also led us to explore approaches that we could not have anticipated at the time, including vehicles that carry drugs past tissue barriers and nanoparticles for intracellular delivery of potent agents.” The skills taught in biomedical engineering classrooms and laboratories are powerful tools in the effort to improve drug delivery.


Dr. Saltzman’s research in the fields of drug delivery, biomaterials, nanobiotechnology, and tissue engineering is described in over 200 research papers and 15 patents. He is the author of three textbooks: Biomedical Engineering (2009), Tissue Engineering (2004), and Drug Delivery (2001).

He earned degrees in chemical engineering (B.S. Iowa State University 1981 and M.S. MIT 1984) and medical engineering (Ph.D. MIT 1987). He served on the faculty at Johns Hopkins (1987-1996), Cornell (1996-2002). Dr. Saltzman became the founding chair of the Yale’s Department of Biomedical Engineering in 2003.

Dr. Saltzman has been recognized for his excellence in research and teaching. He received the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Teacher-Scholar Award (1990); the Allan C. Davis Medal (1995); the Controlled Release Society Young Investigator Award (1996); and the Professional Progress in Engineering Award from Iowa State University (2000). He has been elected a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (1997); a Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society (2010); and a Member of the Connecticut Academy of Science & Engineering (2012).

He has taught dozens of college courses including Heat & Mass Transfer, Material & Energy Balances, Introduction to Biomedical Engineering, Drug Delivery & Tissue Engineering, Physiological Systems, and Molecular Transport & Intervention in the Brain. His course Frontiers of Biomedical Engineering is available to everyone through Open Yale Courses (


Sept. 4, from 12:15 p.m.              


The Schumann Auditorium in the Tagliatela College of Engineering, Room B120, University of New Haven

FOR MORE INFORMATION:  Contact Ismail Orabi at

The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 on the campus of Yale University in cooperation with Northeastern University, UNH moved to its current West Haven campus in 1960. The University operates a satellite campus in Tuscany, Italy, and offers programs at several locations throughout Connecticut and in New Mexico and California. UNH provides its students with a unique combination of a solid liberal arts education and real-world, hands-on career and research opportunities. The University enrolls approximately 6,400 students, including nearly 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates – the majority of whom reside in University housing. Through its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, Tagliatela College of Engineering, and College of Lifelong & eLearning, UNH offers 75 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. UNH students have access to more than 50 study abroad programs worldwide and its student-athletes compete in 16 varsity sports in the NCAA Division II’s highly competitive Northeast-10 Conference.