Dinesh O. Shah Annual Lecture in Surface Science

Samir Mitragotri, Ph.D.

“Understanding and Overcoming Biological Barriers for Drug Delivery”

Rescheduled for Nov. 30, 2020


Effective delivery of drugs is a major problem in today’s healthcare. At a fundamental level, the challenge of drug delivery reflects the fact that the drug distribution in the body is limited by the body’s natural metabolic processes and transport barriers. These biological barriers, while serving an important purpose of regulating the body’s metabolic functions, limit the drug dose that ultimately reaches the target site. Accordingly, many drugs fail to reach their full therapeutic potential. Our research aims at developing a fundamental understanding of the body’s key biological barriers such as skin, intestinal epithelium and the immune system, and utilizing this understanding to develop novel means to negotiate these barriers to deliver drugs. Our research has led to the understanding of how transport properties of biological barriers can be modulated to deliver drugs in effective ways for the treatment of diseases such as diabetes and cancer, among others. I will present an overview of the lessons learned from our exploration of these biological barriers. 


Samir Mitragotri is the Hiller Professor of Bioengineering and Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. His research has provided new insights into biological barriers of skin and gastrointestinal tract, among others. His research has also led to new methods of transdermal, oral, and targeted drug delivery. He is an author of over 300 publications and is a Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher. Prof. Mitragotri is highly active in translating his inventions to clinical and commercial products. He is an inventor on over 180 patents and patent applications. His inventions have led to several products that have been commercialized or are in advanced clinical development. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Inventors. He is a foreign member of the Indian National Academy of Engineering. He is also an elected fellow of AAAS, CRS, BMES, AIMBE, and AAPS. He received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology, India and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the Editor-in-Chief of AIChE’s and SBE’s journal Bioengineering and Translational Medicine.

Dinesh O. Shah, Ph.D.The Dinesh O. Shah Annual Lecture in Surface Science

was established in the Chemical Engineering Department at UF by Professor Dinesh O. Shah because of his strong commitment to the university and the field of surface science. Professor Shah retired in 2005 from UF after a distinguished academic career spanning 35 years.

Dinesh O. Shah received his B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Bombay, India in 1959 and his Ph.D. in Biophysics from Columbia University in 1965. He joined UF in 1970 with a joint appointment in the Chemical Engineering Department and in the Anesthesiology Department. He was appointed as the director of the Center for Surface Science & Engineering in 1984. He then served as chair of the Chemical Engineering Department at UF from 1987-1991.

Dr. Shah has received numerous teaching, research and service awards, including: the UF Excellence in Teaching Award in 1972, the UF President’s Scholar Award in 1975, the UF Outstanding Service Award in 1976, the UF Teacher/Scholar of the Year Award from 1984-85 and the UF President’s Medallion for Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship in 1985. In addition, Dr. Shah was named the Florida Scientist of the Year in 1988, received the Vishwa Gurjari 1992 International Award for Outstanding Achievement and received the Pride of India Award in July 1993. In 1993, he was also named as Distinguished Florida Scientist by the Florida Academy of Sciences. In 1996, he was honored with the first Charles A. Stokes Professorship at UF. He has been the founding director of the Shah-Schulman Center for Surface Science and Nanotechnology, D.D. University, Nadiad, lndia since January 2008.

Previous Dinesh O. Shah Lecturers

2019 Kathleen J. Stebe
2018 Martin Malmsten
2017 Orlin D. Velev
2016 John C. Berg
2015 Krister Holmberg
2014 Charles Maldarelli
2012 Hans-Joachim Freund
2010 Clayton Radke
2009 Robert K. Prud’Homme
2008 Robert Madix
2007 Bengt Kasemo
2006 Curtis Frank
2005 Darsh Wasan