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 (6)
Writing and Editing
Health and Wellness
Areas of Expertise (9)
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
NIH Postdoctoral Fellow (professional)
2013 Harvard University
Harvard University: Postdoctoral Associate, Organic Chemistry 1993
Postdoctoral Associate in the laboratories of Professor E.J. Corey
University of Virginia: Ph.D., Organic Chemistry 1992
Virginia Commonwealth University: B.Sc., Chemistry 1986
Media Appearances (6)
Who shrank the drug factory? Briefcase-sized labs could transform medicine
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.
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.
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.
VCU launches Center for Pharmaceutical Engineering and Sciences
Virginia Business online
The Center for Pharmaceutical Engineering and Sciences is a collaboration between the university’s School of Pharmacy and College of Engineering. Pharmaceutical engineering and sciences cover all aspects of the drug production process—from preclinical studies to manufacturing, formulation and packaging. “The idea is to translate this new knowledge and discoveries into real products,” says Sandro R.P. da Rocha, a professor in the School of Pharmacy. He has been named co-director of the center with Thomas D. Roper, who teaches in the College of Engineering.
Innovative CIT Awards Projects Moving Forward
Commonwealth Center for Advanced Logistics Systems online
For the second project, VCU professor Thomas Roper of the Department of Chemical and Life Sciences Engineering and his team are developing a secure automated refrigeration system for temperature-sensitive medications. Dr. Roper has finished preliminary engineering studies for his project, and is starting to determine the project’s commercial viability. “I’m grateful to CIT – they were great to deal with when we submitted our application, and have been very helpful to us in understanding how to best succeed with this project,” he said.
VCU steps up in state push for research collaboration with eye for commerce
Richmond Times-Dispatch print
One, led by Thomas D. Roper, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Life Sciences Engineering, is developing a system of secure automated refrigeration units to store temperature-sensitive medications in portable compartments for quick access by hospital nursing staff.