When a passion for pharmaceutical research leads to a good night's sleep
A 1997 graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy (UKCOP), Ashraf Traboulsi, Ph.D., is known for his drive and passion for pharmaceutical research.
After completing his doctorate in pharmaceutical science, Traboulsi accepted a two-year postdoc opportunity at the University of Kentucky, overseeing graduate students and conducting drug delivery research. Later, he joined Procter & Gamble (P&G), where he currently resides as principal scientist of Personal Health Care Development. Traboulsi is the technical lead on Vicks and Zquil brands. He also works to develop relationships between universities and P&G and other opportunities.
Traboulsi’s most significant accomplishment since graduation, he proudly shared, was “being responsible for running a transdermal patch of a second-generation drug to reduce the size by half.” Traboulsi said this was done in 2005, and the patch went from a 28 sq cm. weekly patch to a 14 sq cm. weekly patch. His formulation was the only one able to meet all the criteria successfully. If you have ever gotten a good night's rest, thanks to ZzzQuil, you may have a UKCOP alum to thank. He was also one of the technical leads that landed the ZzzQuil account, which delivered three times the expected volume in the first year.
Traboulsi said the most meaningful interactions he’s had in his career have involved mentorship. “Serving as a mentor and helping others who are just starting their careers learn, and also showing them the tools to build a good career,” he said, has been rewarding.
He notes that having a background in research teaches individuals how to problem solve. “You use a very logical approach as a scientist,” Traboulsi said. “If I had to give one piece of advice to a future scientist, I’d tell them to be adventurous. Don’t go for a job that lines up well with your science. Go for what makes you excited.”
Traboulsi credits UKCOP for a solid foundation from which he has built the rest of his career.
“A deeper level of knowledge and training was ingrained in me.,” Traboulsi said. “Some top pharmacy professors like Harry Kistenbauder, Degenis and Hussain are all very well-known names in the field, and being associated with their program, and UK, has definitely opened doors for me.”
Traboulsi’s experience at UKCOP helped him differentiate himself from others in the field.“It provided the tools necessary for me to succeed, and the faculty really made a difference,” he said. “They went out of their way to help students understand the balance and differences in academia, research, and industry. It was so helpful and nice to have an understanding and appreciation for each.”
Traboulsi has had great success in his career thus far and said if he were to go back, he would “definitely do UKCOP again because of the reputation of the program and the doors it helped open.”