Thomas D. Roper, Ph.D.

Director, Pharmaceutical Engineering| Engineering Foundation Professor, Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering

  • Biotech Eight, 4th floor, Room 420, Richmond VA UNITED STATES

Dr. Roper specializes in efforts to bring engineering and science closer to patients who utilize medicines via novel technologies.



2 min

The Value of a Cure and Do All Americans Benefit from Medical Breakthroughs?

On February 28, 2017 policymakers, health officials, industry representatives and patient advocates were meeting in Washington to discuss the ‘value of a cure’ – the costs, the public health benefits and how America will move forward following the passage of the 21st Century Cures legislation.The Act, which was signed in December promises to accelerate funding for biomedical research while it also loosens regulations governing drugs and medical equipment and devices.Innovations in medical research and technology have produced cures and breakthrough therapies to overcome diseases that were once considered a death sentence. Polio is preventable with a vaccine, HIV is managed with a daily drug regimen, and Hepatitis C now has a cure.But are these breakthroughs reaching all communities? How can we balance the high costs of drug development with affordability? And what can we do to ensure that new cures continue to be developed?This is where Virginia Commonwealth University can help. Our experts are thought leaders and are some of the go-to opinions in this field.Dr. Thomas Roper is a professor and the director of the Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering at the VCU School of Engineering. Thomas specializes in efforts to bring engineering and science closer to patients who utilize medicines via novel technologies.Dr. Frank Gupton is a professor and the chair of the Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering at the VCU School of Engineering. He leads the school’s Medicines for All project that is striving to reduces costs of treatment for AIDS. He is an award-winning researcher and an expert in his field.Both Dr. Roper and Dr. Gupton are available to speak with media regarding this very important issue. Simply click on either of their icons to arrange an interview.Source:

Thomas D. Roper, Ph.D.B. Frank Gupton, Ph.D.



Dr. Thomas Roper is a professor of Chemical Engineering and Director of the Pharmaceutical Engineering program for the School of Engineering. He is the principal investigator for the Pharmaceuticals on Demand project at VCU, and collaborator on the Medicines for All initiative. His research interests are in the miniaturization of manufacturing footprints, including continuous chemistry and formulation technologies. Bringing science, technology, medicine and education close to the point of use is a major theme for his research efforts. Roper was previously with GSK Pharmaceuticals for 22 years where his past positions included “Head of API Chemistry and Analysis US” and “Global Head of Exploratory Development Sciences”.

Industry Expertise

Writing and Editing
Health and Wellness

Areas of Expertise

Metabolic Engineering and Biocatalysis
3D Printing of Dose Forms
Long Acting Therapy Development
Nanomaterials and Particle Sciences
Continuous Chemical Reaction Engineering
Cost Effective Therapeutic Treatments for the Developing World
Drug Development
Drug Discovery
Pharmaceutical Innovation


NIH Postdoctoral Fellow


Harvard University


Harvard University

Postdoctoral Associate

Organic Chemistry


Postdoctoral Associate in the laboratories of Professor E.J. Corey

University of Virginia


Organic Chemistry


Virginia Commonwealth University




Media Appearances

Who shrank the drug factory? Briefcase-sized labs could transform medicine

Nature  online


A team of engineers at MIT immediately took the lead on a small-molecule system, one that was later handed off to the lab of synthetic organic chemist Thomas Roper at VCU. To Roper, who moved there after 22 years at drug maker GlaxoSmithKline, the DARPA contract was an opportunity to force radical change in a typically conservative industry.

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VCU will open nation’s first pharmaceutical engineering doctorate program

Commonwealth Times  print


Thomas Roper, a co-director of the program from the College of Engineering, has high hopes for the students coming out of this program.
“We want them to be at the forefront of pharmaceutical engineering research, and really be able to apply engineering principles to future medicines that may be developed,” Roper said.

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University in Virginia starts first US pharma engineering PhD

Cleanroom Technology  online


Thomas D Roper (L) and Sandro R da Rocha (R). Directors of the Center for Pharmaceutical Engineering at VCU.

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