Byrn lab:Research

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Major Research Interests

Solid state chemistry of drugs and formulation design. Study of polymorphs, cocrystals, liquid crystals, nanoparticles, and amorphous materials. Analytical methods in the solid state including X-ray diffraction, solid state NMR, and dissolution. Molecular basis of manufacturing. Sustainable medicine in Africa.


Solid state chemistry of drugs is being studied to:

    improve knowledge of the factors that affect this chemistry;
    develop new analytical methods;
    develop platforms for formulation design especially as they relate to new formulations that reduce dose;
    improve approaches to manufacturing design and continuous manufacturing;
    understand the molecular basis of manufacturing; and
    assess the risk of instability of APIs and formulations.

Of special interest is the use of synchrotron X-ray technologies to:

    analyze amorphous materials, nanoparticles, and liquid crystals; and
    monitor levitated drops containing drug-polymer mixtures and develop platforms to accelerate drug development.

This solid state research has implications for formulation design, the analysis of drugs, the stability of drugs, the control of drug manufacturing, and the development of methods of crystallization. By carrying out research on the solid state chemistry of drugs it is hoped that new approaches for drug analysis including X-ray PDF methods and solid state NMR methods will be developed. Finally, all of this information is used to develop new formulations that provide equivalent bioavailability of marketed drugs at reduced dose. Research is also ongoing to develop new formulations and manufacturing technologies including continuous manufacturing to increase access to medicines in Africa.


Current Research Projects
1. Formulation design for reduced dose formulations
2. Formulation design strategies to accelerate drugs to proof of concept and for translational research
3. Nanoparticle preparation and analysis
4. Synchrotron methods involving levitated drops to screen for amorphous formulations
5. Preparation, crystallization, and scale-up of cocrystals
6. Molecular basis of manufacturing, manufacturing design and continuous manufacturing for drugs including fixed dose combinations


Dr. Byrn also founded ImprovedPharma and SSCI, Inc.

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