Lucila Garcia-Contreras, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Phone (405) 271-6593 x47205

Fax (405) 271-7505

Office CPB 321



The research goal of my laboratory is “Targeted Drug Delivery” and involves the rational design of dosage forms and their in vitro evaluation, which are used to design in vivo studies. In turn, the information obtained in in vitro and in vivo studies is used to understand the underlying reasons of the performance of the dosage form with the objective of improving its formulation design to achieve the desired therapeutic effect. 

   A recent project that illustrates this process is the formulation of a novel molecule with anticancer and antimicrobial activity for pulmonary delivery as nanocrystals or microparticles. In vitro evaluation included size analysis using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and laser diffraction; stability, using (Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). We determined the aerosol performance of these formulations using commercial dry powder inhalers and performed pharmacokinetic studies to determine the disposition of the drug after pulmonary administration to mice. Lastly, in collaboration with Dr. Jie Wu from the OUHSC Department of Pathology, we assessed the efficacy of the nanocrystals in a transgenic mouse model of adenocarcinoma.

   My laboratory also designs dosage forms for oral, vaginal and transdermal administration following same procedure.  A second line of investigation of my laboratory is the development of needle-less vaccines to provide mucosal and systemic immunization. We are interested in elucidating the role of cell mediated immune (CMI) response and humoral immunity to the overall protection provided by the vaccine. Examples of vaccines studied in my laboratory include vaccines against tuberculosis, West Nile Virus, Diphtheria and Shigellosis.

Education & Experience

Master of Science in Science

Dept. of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA.


Doctor of Philosophy, in Philosophy

College of Pharmacy, Univ. of Georgia, Dept. of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, , Athens, GA


Postdoctoral Fellowship in Division of Drug Delivery and Disposition

School of Pharmacy. Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC


Publications & Presentations

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  1. Mahjabeen S, Hatipoglu M K, Chandra V, Benbrook D M, Garcia-Contreras L. Optimization of a Vaginal Suppository Formulation to Deliver SHetA2 as a Novel Treatment for Cervical Dysplasia. Journal of pharmaceutical sciences. 2018; 107 : 638-646
  2. Benbrook D M, Janakiram N B, Chandra V, Pathuri G, Madka V, Stratton N C, Masamha C P, Farnsworth C N, Garcia-Contreras L, Hatipoglu M K, Lighfoot S, Rao C V. Development of a dietary formulation of the SHetA2 chemoprevention drug for mice. Investigational new drugs. 2017
  3. Hatipoglu S M, Mahjabeen S, Garcia-Contreras L. “Pharmacokinetics of inhalable microparticulate SHetA2 nanocrystals for lung cancer treatment”. American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS). 2017
  4. Mahjabeen S, Hatipoglu S M, Kosanke S D, Benbrook D M, Garcia-Contreras L. “Influence of Estrous Cycle on the absorption of SHetA2 from Vaginal Suppositories to Treat Cervical Dysplasia”. American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS). 2017
  5. Hatipoglu S M, Mahjabeen S, Garcia-Contreras L. “Inhalable Microparticulate SHetA2 Nanocrystals for Lung Cancer Treatment”. OCRID. 2017
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  • Development of a novel peptide therapeutic against antibiotic resistant Gram negative bacteria. 2018.
  • “Inhaled Delivery of Clofazimine (CFZ) – A high efficiency, flow independent, targeted, low cost DPI. 2018.
  • Enterovirus Drug Development Through Targeting Oxysterol-binding Protein (OSBP). 2018.
  • HSPA and Client Proteins as Selective Targets for Ovarian Cancer Therapy. 2017.
  • Inhalable Heteroarotinoid Powders as a Novel Treatment for Multi-Drug Resistant-TB. 2018.
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