UT represented by Peppas family on prestigious pharma Power List

Samagra Jain

Last Monday, The Medicine Maker, a prominent pharmaceutical and drug development publication, released its 2019 Power List, a catalog of the 100 most influential individuals in the pharmaceutical industry. 

Among distinguished leaders such as Nobel laureate Shinya Yamanaka and Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, Nicholas Peppas, UT chemical and biomedical engineering, molecular pharmacy and pediatrics professor, found his name on the list for the fourth consecutive year.

This year, Peppas made the list with his wife Lisa Brannon-Peppas, a chemical engineer and former UT biomedical engineering faculty member. The couple was named “Masters of the Bench” for their often overlapping research in nanoparticle technology and drug delivery. 


Peppas and Brannon-Peppas met at Purdue University, where Peppas was a professor and Brannon-Peppas was pursuing a Ph.D.. Since then, they have both contributed extensively to the fields of pharmaceuticals, engineering and medicine.

Peppas said he considers his nomination to be a testament to his 40-year research career.

“I am honored to be on this list because it represents the best of the pharmaceutical industry,” Peppas said. “Here at UT, Dr. Brannon-Peppas and I researched to create medical solutions to important problems. We worked to find a way to improve medicine so people don’t have to suffer.”

Brannon-Peppas served as one of the first female directors of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and led the development of medicines and medical products for cancer treatments, while Peppas pioneered drug delivery research at Purdue. They joined UT’s faculty together in 2003. 

Brannon-Peppas left UT in 2015 to found the pharmaceutical consulting company PeppChem, and Peppas continues to teach in his faculty roles at the University. Brannon-Peppas said she feels greatly honored to be named in the list and reiterated Peppas’ commitment toward serving patients.

“Being kind, patient and working towards saving a life every day are the ingredients to a positive life,” Brannon-Peppas said.

Lynn Crismon, dean of the College of Pharmacy, said their recognition was well deserved and reflects positively on the University.

“The University is evaluated by the contributions of its faculty and graduates to society,” Crismon said in an email. “The fact that UT-Austin has internationally recognized faculty in two different departments focused on innovative methods to deliver medications to the site of drug action adds to the reputation of UT-Austin as a world-class institution that is addressing important research questions in the biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences.”

The full 2019 Power List can be found here.