Tribute to John Staniforth

It is with great sadness that we convey the death of our dear friend and former colleague John Nicholas Staniforth, who passed away on 6 March 2015.

In 1980, having obtained BSc and PhD degrees from Aston University, Birmingham, John became a lecturer in the school of pharmacy at the University of Bath. In 1984, he was promoted to reader and in 1996 was appointed to a personal chair, as professor of pharmaceutical technology.

John was a pioneer in the pharmaceutical sciences and remained a key figurehead in the pharmaceutical sector, nationally and internationally. His research interests included developing novel drug delivery technologies, powder technology, particle engineering and all areas of formulation science and powder mixing. His research has been widely published and John was the recipient of numerous scientific awards, including the Churchill Fellowship, Royal Pharmaceutical Society Science Award, Pfizer Medal for Pharmaceutical Research, Colorcon Award for Pharmaceutical Technology, Special Upjohn Award, and he was elected Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences and eminent Fellow of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

John was a Fellow of the Zoological Society for research in the area of dosage form design for veterinary use, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. In 2003, John was the recipient of the AstraZeneca Industrial Achievement Award. He was also the author of well over 150 research publications during his academic career. He was a serial inventor and successfully patented and commercialised several drug delivery systems and novel pharmaceutical products.

By the late 1990s, John led a large research team, including ten postdoctoral Fellows, ten graduate research officers and 15 postgraduate students. Then, in 1999, as a principal of coordinated drug development (CDD), John was instrumental in the formation of Vectura Plc via a University of Bath spin-out from CDD and the Centre for Drug Formulation Studies. At that time, John was seconded from the university to become chief scientific officer of the new organisation.

In 2004, John returned to the University of Bath on a part-time basis and continued to serve as a director of PharmaKodex Ltd and Halation Ltd. He also acted as non-executive director of several pharmaceutical companies, including Phoqus Pharmaceuticals Ltd, and served for many years on the board at Penwest Pharmaceuticals Co.

Professionally, John leaves an international and historical imprint in pharmaceutical sciences research over the past 35 years. He also leaves global legacy through the instruction and inspiration he provided to his students and colleagues, many of whom have become highly influential themselves in various academic and industrial positions all over the world.

He will be greatly missed by all of us but especially his family, including wife Elaine, mother Joan, children Sarah, Mary and Thomas, stepchildren Laura and Ian, and granddaughter Clara.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 2 May 2015, Vol 294, No 7860;294(7860)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2015.20068409

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