Raj Suryanarayanan (Sury), PhD

2021 Michael J. Pikal Distinguished Scholar in Pharmaceutical Processing


Raj Suryanarayanan (Sury), PhD

Professor and William and Mildred Peters Endowed Chair

Distinguished University Teaching Professor

University of Minnesota

Professor Mike Pikal took a mechanistic and a fundamental approach to attack problems of immense interest and importance to the pharmaceutical community. His pioneering work  improved our understanding of the complex interplay of formulations and processing. Importantly, the next generation of scientists can continue to ask and answer important scientific questions relating to pharmaceutical formulations — thanks to the foundation laid by Mike.

— Raj Suryanarayanan

Dr. Sury’s area of interest is the materials science of pharmaceuticals. The overall goal of his research is to develop a fundamental understanding of the material science properties of pharmaceuticals (both drugs and excipients) so as to prepare dosage forms with reproducible and predictable properties.

Dr. Michael J. Pikal’s groundbreaking research work in freeze-drying has inspired several of Dr. Sury’s research projects. For example, about 20 years ago, Professors Pikal and Nair Rodreguez-Hornedo (University of Michigan), documented the effect of buffer composition on pH changes during freezing. Recently, Dr. Sury’s group characterized phosphate buffered saline, in frozen state and after freeze-drying (Thorat et al, Pharmaceutical Research 35 (2019) 1). They also documented the role of pH shift on protein aggregation (Thorat et al, Journal of Controlled Release, 323 (2020) 591). Thus we continue to build on the foundations laid by Dr. Pikal.

Dr. Sury’s other recent research interests encompass several areas including:

  1. Stabilizers in protein formulations (Thakral et al, Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews 173 (20210 1)
  2. Use of X-ray (synchrotron) diffractometry in drug substance and drug product characterization (Bhushan and Suryanarayanan, Trends in Analytical Chemistry 136 (2021) 116181)
  3. Characterizing drug-polymer interactions, in both solution and solid state with the goal of designing stable amorphous dispersions which can enhance the oral bioavailability of poorly water soluble drugs (Amponsah-Efah et al, Molecular Pharmaceutics (18 (2021) 174); Duggirala et al, Chemical Communications 55 (2019) 5551)
  4. Investigating the role of processing and excipients on the stability of drugs in dosage forms (Kaur and Suryanarayanan, Molecular Pharmaceutics 18 (2021) 2683); Koranne et al Molecular Pharmaceutics 17 (2020) 1324)