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Pediatric Pharmacology Research and Development Center (PPRDC)

TTUHSC School of Pharmacy - Dallas (SW Campus)

The Pediatric Pharmacology Research and Development Center (PPRDC) was established in 2004 as a Center for Research Excellence in the School of Pharmacy. The PPRDC was initially located at Children’s Medical Center Dallas (CMCD) through teaching/research collaborations with CMCD’s Department of Pharmacy. Further teaching/research collaborations expanded through greater formal collaborations with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSWMC) and necessitated a move to larger facilities. The PPRDC moved in 2011 and is currently strategically located adjacent to the UTSWMC campus and hospital district. Located within the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center’s (TTUHSC) School of Pharmacy, the PPRDC occupies approximately 1,500 sf of laboratory space and contains state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation. The PPRDC specializes in development of microvolume analytical and bioanalytical assays for quantitation of analytes (drugs, metabolites, and degradation products); as well as, identification of disease biomarkers in biofluids and other matrices. The PPRDC routinely works with both small molecule and biomolecule analytes. Interest also resides in laboratory automation and high speed techniques for drug screening. Work to support preclinical and clinical drug development is the mainstay of ongoing research in diverse therapeutic areas and populations (e.g., infants, and children).

PPRDC Features

  • Experienced faculty with expertise in drug development
  • Experienced faculty and staff with expertise in isolating and analyzing unique analytes in unique matrices
  • Entrepreneurial investigator/institution collaborations
  • Core laboratory focused on drug development issues
  • Compliance with FDA/ICH Regulations, including Good Laboratory Practice (GLA), Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) and 21 CFR Part 11

Key PPRDC Faculty

Center Director

Richard Leff, Pharm.D.

Professor and Regional Dean

TTUHSC School of Pharmacy - Dallas/Fort Worth

Analytical Chemistry Director

Claudia Meek, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor

TTUHSC School of Pharmacy - Dallas/Fort Worth

Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics Director

Reza Mehvar, Ph.D.


TTUHSC School of Pharmacy - Amarillo

Clinical/Translational Sciences Director

Ruiwen Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.


TTUHSC School of Pharmacy - Amarillo

Pharmaceutical Sciences Director

Quentin Smith, Ph.D.


TTUHSC School of Pharmacy - Amarillo

Specific Center Aims

The specific aims of the Pharmacology Center is to conduct studies in drug development including:

  • Bioavailability
  • Drug Formulations
  • Drug metabolism and decomposition
  • Pharmacokinetics (Drug distribution and metabolism)
  • Pharmacodynamics
  • Biomarker identification
  • Pharamcogenomics

The above-mentioned areas of research are the foundations of drug development and advanced therapeutics.

In addition, the PPRDC focuses on the training of future pharmacists and clinical/translational scientists. Upon completion of their studies, many skilled pharmacists and investigators remain in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex (DFW Metroplex) to practice and continue their research.

Center Synergy

The PPRDC collaborates with investigators and institutions throughout the DFW Metroplex to enhance teaching and research for the benefit of citizens living in our communities, the state and society as a whole. A partial list of collaborators includes:

  • Baylor University Medical Center - Dallas
  • Baylor Charles Sammons Cancer Center - Dallas
  • Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern - Dallas
  • Children's Medical Center - Dallas
  • Cook Children's Hospital - Fort Worth
  • Harris Methodist Hospital - Fort Worth
  • JPS Health Network - Fort Worth
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center - Dallas


  • Pharmacy teaching and research has been absent in the DFW Metroplex. The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy represents the first initiative to enhance pharmacy education and pharmaceutical research
  • Significant advances in drug therapy have been realized through collaboraions with DFW Metroplex investigators
  • Therapeutic advances have benefitted the citizens of our community
  • Research revenues obtained through grants and contracts have funded ongoing research for the benefit of society