The experts at 3M Drug Delivery Systems are the driving force behind 3M’s proud record of successful innovation. They work tirelessly to create products on the cutting edge of the industry and meet the needs of 3M’s partners. We are pleased to introduce one of those experts to you now. Meet Steve Stein, 3M Lead Inhalation Research Specialist:
A: I work on developing pharmaceutical inhaler products for treatment of respiratory diseases such as asthma and COPD.
A: My first job was with the US Bureau of Mines where I was doing research to understand and prevent worker exposure to mine aerosols in underground coal mines. I did such a good job that the US Bureau of Mines was shut down in 1996, at which point I started working at 3M doing inhaler research. So, in my first job, I was working to prevent people from inhaling small particles into their lungs, but in my current job I am working to get people to inhale small particles into their lungs. The good thing is that the physics involved in both cases is the same!
A: A funny story – when I was a student at Bethel University, I was a Tech Aide in this division. At that time, I was in the Solids Group that was developing tablet and capsule products. I was asked if I was interested in transferring into the Aerosol Group that was doing inhaler development. My response was, “Why would I want to do that?” Little did I know that I would make a career out of doing that! After I got a BA in Physics from Bethel University, I then got an MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota where I focused on aerosol science. One of the things I ended up liking about aerosol science is that you can visualize what is going on.
A: We have a saying in our division that DDSD is “a different kind of fun.” Inhalers are complex systems and it is definitely a very challenging field. Yet, the products that reach the market save many lives and improve the quality of life for many others. I am part of a great team that is working on developing a generic inhaler. You would be amazed at how complex it is to meet all the regulatory requirements to develop a generic inhaler. I once uttered the question, “How hard can it be to develop a generic inhaler?” I had no idea how hard it could be, but it is still fun – just a different kind of fun….
A: We love family road trips – especially when hiking or skiing is involved. I like packing in as many cool places and fun activities in a short period as possible. A few years ago, we did a road trip to the southwest US and hit 11 national parks in two weeks. My wife is trying to teach me that it can also be fun to go on a vacation to a single place and hang out on the beach and snorkel. I would prefer to try and hit every cool snorkel place in the area. While I am making progress in having ‘relaxing vacations’, I still have a ways to go.…