The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Research was inaugurated on November 24, 1995 by S. Harcharan Singh Brar, Chief Minister of Punjab. The department was envisaged since inception to develop into a centre of excellence for drug research and for training personnel at graduate, post-graduate and doctoral levels. The administrative wing and lecture halls are situated on the ground floor. The Pharmaceutics Division comprising laboratories, machine room, microbiology and fluid mechanics laboratory is situated on the ground floor. The Pharmaceutical Chemistry Division is located on the second floor. Pharmacology Division comprising cardiovascular and molecular pharmacology laboratories is situated on the third floor. Pharmacognosy and Pharmacy Practice Divisions also form a part of the third floor of the department. Apart from the basic amenities for undergraduate and post-graduate students, the department has a well-equipped analytical instrument room, library, conference room, animal house and museum. Presently, Dr. Gurpreet Kaur, is the Head of the Department and there are 19 faculty members in the Department. The Department has a rare distinction of being granted financial assistance under the coveted FIST scheme of Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi as well as SAP-I (2009-14) and SAP-II (2015-20) scheme of University Grants Commission, New Delhi in recognition of its excellent performance in academic and research areas. The division of Pharmaceutics is actively pursuing research in niche areas of drug delivery. These include transdermal, colonic, bioadhesive, S-SEDDS, Liquid preconcentrated microemulsion systems and nanoparticulate drug delivery systems. Studies on microspheres and tablets (ODTs, oral gels, etc) for modulating drug release are also being conducted. Development of spermicidal dosage forms also forms an integral part of research endeavors of this division. The Pharmacology division is engaged in studies on new target sites in ischaemic myocardium, diabetes induced neuropathy and biochemical pharmacology of memory. Pharmaceutical Chemistry group is involved in the design (QSAR studies) and synthesis of nonpeptide angiotensin receptor antagonists, insulin sensitizing agents and anti-adhesion molecules. Work on stress testing and degradation studies on drugs also forms a part of research pursuits of this group. The Pharmacognosy division is pursuing research related to phytochemical investigations on anti-anxiety and anti-diabetic drugs.
Research interests of Pharmacy Practice division include assessment of anti-arthritic drugs, cardiovascular dysfunction and diabetic complications in patients. The department hosted the 28th Conference of Indian Pharmacology Society from November 24-26, 1995. The department from January 22-26, 2001 hosted an International Conference on Pathophysiology and Drug Therapy of Cardiovascular Disorders. Recently, National Conference on Innovations in Drug Discovery and Research was organized by the department from 3-5 March 2009. In the year 2012 and 2014, the department organized national level one day seminar respectively on Drug delivery and Pharmacovigilance and UGC sponsored national seminar on emerging paradigms in pharmaceutical sciences. Recently, one day UGC-UKIERI international seminar on nanotherapeutics and crystal engineering was organized on 8th Feb, 2016.
Department has successfully completed five major research projects funded by CSIR, New Delhi to Dr. A.K. Tiwary, Dr R K Goel, Dr Gulshan Bansal and Dr. Vikas Rana and three minor projects funded by UGC, New Delhi to Dr. Gurpreet Kaur, Mr Dhandeep Singh, Dr Ametashwar Singh Jaggi and Mrs. Yogita Bansal. In addition, six major research projects funded by UGC, New Delhi to Dr. R. K. Goel, Dr. Om Silakari, Dr. Gulshan Basal, Dr. Nirmal Singh, Dr. Vikas Rana, Dr Amteshwar Singh Jaggi, Dr A K Tiwary, Dr Gurpreet Kaur, Dr Suresh and Dr Pawan Krishan have also been successfully completed. A project sanctioned under Research Promotion Scheme of AICTE, New Delhi jointly to Dr. A. K. Tiwary and Dr Vikas Rana was successfully completed and a project granted to Dr Gulshan Bansal is in progress. Further, Dr. A. K. Tiwary completed a project sanctioned by ICMR, New Delhi and another one completed by Dr. R.K. Goel which was granted by DST, New Delhi and REBR, Moscow under the Indo-Russian collaboration scheme. A major research project funded by DST New Delhi to Dr Amteshwar Singh Jaggi is in progress. Recently, Dr Vikas Rana and Dr Om Silakari have been sanctioned a project, respectively from AICTE, New Delhi and DBT, New Delhi.
The department has earned international acclaim by successfully completing a consultancy project sanctioned to Dr. A. K. Tiwary by Kemin Industries Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, USA for testing one of its newly developed chemical for possible use as percutaneous permeation enhancer in transdermal formulations. Bio Plus Ltd., Hosur, Karnataka has sanctioned one consultancy to Dr. Subheet Jain to work on Biosafety evaluation of Jaymer. The pharmaceutical companies regularly contact the teaching faculty for their expert comments on product development thus, enabling a good academia-industry interaction. Further, experts are invited from the industry in order to expose the students to the latest trends being practiced in the pharmaceutical industry. The students of the department have found placements leading Pharma Companies; Ranbaxy/ Sun Pharma, Torrent, Cadila, Ind Swift, Morepen, Jubliant Organosys, Jubliant Chemsys, Cipla, Dabur and Panacea Biotech to name a few. In addition, many students have gone abroad for further studies. The department maintains a close contact with leading pharmaceutical companies for training and placement of its students. This has earned the department a good name and the credibility of the teaching faculty is widely appreciated and accepted. The department has produced 18 Ph.D. students and has 33 regular, 10 part-time students registered and 06 enrolled for their Ph.D. degrees. The name of few faculty members figures in the panel of reviewers of prestigious international journals like European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Carbohydrate Polymers, International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, AAPS PharmSci.Tech., AAPS Journal, Current Drug Delivery, International J of Pharmaceutics, Acta Pharmalogica Sinica, European Journal of Pain, Journal of Food Science and Technology, Journal of Alzheimers, Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, Psychopharmacology, Journal of Chromatography, Journal of Nanoparticulate Research and Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. Approximately 720 publications in journals of international repute made by pharmaceutics, pharmacology, pharmacognosy, pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical chemistry divisions have brought an international fame to the department. This is evident from the recent four patents filled and research publications in European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics (IF 4.25), European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences (IF3.35), Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Patents (IF4.2), Expert Opinion Drug Delivery (IF4.8), International Journal of Pharmaceutics (IF3.7), Carbohydrate Polymers (IF4.1), Pharmacological Research (IF 4.4), Journal of Ethnopharmacology (IF 3.26), Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Review (IF 10.5), Analysis (IF 4.23).