Pharmaceutics Professor Wins Prestigious International Award

Michael Repka earns Shangraw award for study of inactive pharmaceutical ingredients

Michael Repka examines a filament produced using hot-melt extrusion in his laboratory, where he and his team are exploring ways to use the filaments to deliver targeted doses of drugs to better treat various ailments. Repka, distinguished professor of pharmaceutics and drug delivery at Ole Miss, has been honored with the 2023 Ralph Shangraw Memorial Award for his work. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi pharmacy professor Michael Repka has been honored with the prestigious 2023 Ralph Shangraw Memorial Award.

This recognition by the International Pharmaceutical Excipients Council of the Americas Foundation is an acknowledgement of Repka’s efforts in the field of pharmaceutical excipients, or inactive medicinal ingredients.

“Receiving IPEC’s highest award means that we at the School of Pharmacy have had a positive impact in drug delivery systems on the international stage,” said Repka, distinguished professor of pharmaceutics and drug delivery. “To join the past award winners, who are pioneers in the field of pharmaceutical excipient research, is extremely humbling.”

The award is presented annually to an individual who has provided outstanding research contributions in the study of excipients or excipient-related technology over a number of years. Repka was nominated by Nigel Langley, former global technical director for BASF Corp. and adjunct professor in the UM School of Pharmacy’s Department of Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery.

Michael Repka

“Professor Repka has been an exemplary mentor to his research students, both during their university studies and after graduation,” Langley said. “I have had the pleasure of collaborating with him for the last 15 years.

“He is extremely humble and has made a substantial impact in both academia as well as in his connections with industry.”

The award is named for Shangraw, a professor who spent more than 38 years teaching and studying excipients at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy and devoting many years of service to the expert committees of the U.S. Pharmacopeia. He was also a founding member of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.

Repka was presented the award during the AAPS annual meeting, taking place this week (Oct. 22-25) in Orlando, Florida.

“The Shangraw Memorial Award is a testament to Dr. Repka’s dedication, innovation and commitment to pharmaceutical excipients research,” said Donna Strum, dean of the pharmacy school. “We congratulate him for receiving this prestigious award and for his outstanding contributions to the field.”

Repka received his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Texas College of Pharmacy, his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Texas Dental School at San Antonio and his doctorate in pharmaceutics from the University of Texas College of Pharmacy.

He joined the Ole Miss pharmacy faculty in 2000 as an assistant professor of pharmaceutics and a research assistant professor of the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He was chair of the Department of Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery from 2005 to 2022 and was awarded the distinguished professor designation by the university in 2019.