Professor Valentino (Val) Stella

Professor Valentino (Val) Stella

A renowned researcher and educator, Val Stella (BPharm 1968, HonLLD 1997) is Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at The University of Kansas (KU) in the US.

Professor Stella graduated from  in 1968 and went on to complete a doctorate in analytical pharmaceutical chemistry and pharmaceutics at KU in 1971.

He spent the next two years as assistant professor of pharmacy at the University of Illinois Medical Center before returning to KU. He became a full professor in 1981 and a distinguished professor in 1990.

Professor Stella’s research focuses on the application of chemistry to the study of factors affecting drug delivery. He is best known for his work to improve the way medicines are absorbed by the body. This includes the pre-formulation of drugs to treat conditions such as cancer, AIDS, epilepsy and rheumatoid arthritis.

He has also helped to develop ‘prodrugs’ that break down and release active drugs once they are delivered into the body.

Professor Stella holds more than 34 patents and is the inventor or co-inventor of several drugs including: the anti-seizure drug Fosphenytoin; the anti-AIDS drug Viread; Captisol - used to dissolve drugs for injection and the  anaesthetic drug, Lusedra® (or fospropofol).

From 1989 to 2000 as director of KU’s Center for Drug Delivery Research , Professor Stella co-founded three pharmaceutical companies: CyDex, CritiTech and ProQuest.

He has published more than 300 papers and authored or co-authored six books.

Professor Stella has received numerous awards in recognition of his achievements. He has an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Monash University and an Honorary Doctorate from Kuopio University in Finland.

In 2004, he received a UNICO National Marconi Science Award. KU has also honoured him with four awards including the Chancellor’s Club Career Teaching Award (2008), the Technology Transfer Leadership Award (2006), the Dolph Simons Award in Biomedical Sciences (1990), and the Honor for the Outstanding Progressive Educator Award (1989).

He holds the following fellowships and memberships:

  • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Fellow of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Fellow of the Cyclodextrin Society of Japan
  • Member and fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists
  • Member of the American Chemical Society