Texas A&M University-Kingsville


Peacock Auditorium - 04/11/13 - 04/11/13

Contact: Jason Marton
kujm2007@tamuk.edu or 361-593-4143

The pharmaceutical industry is a multi-billion dollar operation in which companies compete with each other to bring new or more effective drugs to consumers. Generic drug companies use established drug patents to mass produce their own versions of current drugs.

While most of us know this, we may not know much about the chemistry behind the pharmaceutical industry. In the push to produce drugs, chemical formulas have been developed through the years that yield a little bit of drug while producing a lot of wasteful by-products in the chemical process. When generic companies start using these same chemical formulas, they leave behind even more waste because of the scale of production.

Pharmaceutical companies of all types have started thinking more about green chemistry—designing chemical products and processes with as little or no hazardous substances as possible.

Dr. Apurba Bhattacharya, associate professor of chemistry at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, has some 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, working for companies like Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb and Hoechst. He also is an internationally respected figure in the field of green chemistry, developing generic drug production that increases drug yield while lowering the amount of waste.

Bhattacharya has been selected by the university’s Faculty Senate committee to deliver the 33rd Annual Faculty Lecture. His topic is green chemistry in the pharmaceutical industry, explained for the general public, hence the lecture’s title: Green Chemistry through the Eyes of My Mother-In-Law.

The public is invited to attend this free event, happening at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 11, in the J. Talmer Peacock Auditorium, located in the Biology-Earth Science Building, on the A&M-Kingsville campus.

Food and drink will be served at a reception following the lecture, in the lobby of the Biology-Earth Sciences Building.

About Dr. Apurba Bhattacharya

Apurba Bhattacharya is an associate professor of chemistry at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Recently, he held the position of senior vice president for research and development in Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd., the second largest generic company in India, located in Hyderabad. Bhattacharya joined the faculty of Texas A&M-Kingsville after many years in the pharmaceutical industry, where he started his career with Merck & Co., Inc. as a senior research chemist in process research and development. Later, Bhattacharya joined Hoechst, where he rose to the position of lead chemist in the Innovator Group. He then held the position of group leader in Central Process Research of Bristol Myers Squibb until joining the faculty of Texas A&M-Kingsville in 1999.

During his time in industry, Bhattacharya developed the synthesis of Propecia® (hair growth drug) / Proscar® for BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy, prostate cancer). He developed chiral Robinson Annulation and the synthesis of S-Ibuprofen™, D-p-hydroxyphenylglycine (for Cephalosporins™), Cromolyn Sodium™, Alkyl Indanones, Quinazolinones, Amphoteric Co-polymer and MRI imaging agents. Bhattacharya’s current research includes designing environmentally benign/waste-free chemistry, with special emphasis toward current industrial synthesis and processes utilizing homogeneous and heterogeneous catalyst systems, as well as asymmetric synthesis and chiral phase transfer catalysis.

Bhattacharya received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin in 1982, M.S. in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, India in 1976 and a B.S. in Chemistry from Calcutta University, India in 1974. Bhattacharya’s contributions extended to numerous newspaper articles, five book chapters, 110 referred publications, 50 patents and 165 research presentations.

Bhattacharya is a member of the Advisory Board for the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI), National Academies’ Chemical Sciences Roundtable (CSR) and the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute (ACS GCI) Pharmaceutical Roundtable. Bhattacharya is a consultant for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, numerous preeminent pharmaceutical companies (including Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, Bristol Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Co., Daiichi Sankyo Ranbaxy Laboratories and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Hyderabad, India) and serves on the advisory boards of several journals, including Open Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Modern Research in Catalysis and Journal of Synthesis Theory and Applications.                                        


This page was last updated on: April 05, 2013