Heidi M. Mansour, PhD, of the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, is developing advanced dry powder inhalers for the treatment and prevention of pulmonary diseases.

Heidi M. Mansour, PhD, investigates pulmonary states and diseases that have unmet medical needs, including lung transplants, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary fibrosis, bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary infections and pulmonary hypertension.

Her goal is to design treatments for these pulmonary conditions by researching and developing new drugs and by developing the delivery mechanisms for these drugs. Her specialty is dry powder inhalation aerosols – that is, inhalers.

Mansour recently published a paper in the journal Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery titled “Dry Powder Inhalers in COPD, Lung Inflammation and Pulmonary Infections” detailing this research. The paper discusses currently available dry powder inhalers for inhalable powder drug formulations used in the treatment of COPD, asthma and pulmonary infections.

Delivering drugs to the lungs is the best way to treat many pulmonary diseases, Dr. Mansour said. However, unique challenges and complexities accompany this method of drug delivery. “The lung is the organ of life that we’re targeting, so there are added regulations and added safety limits that we have to work within,” Dr Mansour said. “You’re restricted in the volume and mass you can deliver because you can’t block the airways and suffocate the patient. There are added regulations for this class of products within the FDA.”

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