17 years ago, Dr. Atul Shukla and Dr. Jim Johnson initiated at the University of Tennessee, Memphis, Tennessee, the first Hands-on Course in Tablet Technology as a continuing education opportunity for the pharmaceutical industry and regulatory agencies. At that time no post-graduate hands-on industrial course existed. Dr. Shukla and Dr. Johnson did not realize their venture would result in a course that has become recognized by pharma and non-pharma industries around the world. This course has persisted due to dedicated and knowledgeable experts from industry and academia who have been willing to impart their expertise and knowledge to those eager and willing to expand their horizons.
The initial course focus was on tablet technology for the domestic pharmaceutical industry. However, it has transitioned since its inception to a course attended by participants from not only the USA, but Canada, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Japan, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela and New Zealand. Attendance has spanned various related fields of expertise – pharmaceutical, FDA, Health Canada, biotech, food, equipment, excipients, etc.
The Hands-on Course in Tablet Technology changed venue in September 2013 from the University of Tennessee to the University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi, under the direction of Dr. Jim Johnson and Mr. Ed Brunson in collaboration with Dr. Michael Repka, Chairman, Department of Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery. The curriculum has remained of consistent quality and has been expanded from tablet technology to include other oral pharmaceutical solid dosage forms.
Unfortunately, Dr. Shukla succumbed to lung cancer in 2009. However, the vision initiated 17 years ago by Dr. Shukla and Dr. Johnson -- two true pioneers in the area of promoting and fostering continuing education in pharmaceutical technology -- continues today at the University of Mississippi and is being presented for the 7th time there.