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Alum Finds His Role in Pharmaceutical Research

Tyler Hageman
Student & Alumni Stories

Tyler Hageman isn’t your grandfather’s pharmacist. In fact, the 2013 MNU chemistry grad isn’t a pharmacist at all, though that was where he thought he wanted to end up when he started grad school at the University of Kansas. He’s working on enhancing a mass spectrometry-based method as an analytical tool for protein therapeutic comparability studies at the University of Kansas – and if that didn’t make sense to you, you’re not alone.

For the non-chemists of the world, Hageman is working to create a method of testing to ensure the greatest possible consistency between batches of pharmaceuticals – so every bottle of pills you get refilled from the pharmacy has the exact same chemical makeup. Protein therapeutics deal with chronic illnesses like arthritis, and are also used in oncology.

“We need to be able to analyze these complex drugs. The ultimate goal is that drug manufacturers can prove all their drugs are consistent from batch to batch – not just simple ones like ibuprofen,” Hageman says.

Hageman landed a National Institutes of Health fellowship to continue his research. His first interaction with NIH was actually as a student at MNU.  One of his MNU professors told him about a three-month REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) opportunity. He was accepted and spent a summer doing pharmaceutical research.

“That was when I decided that was what I wanted to do,” says Hageman, who credits MNU with preparing him for his current work.

His current work gives him the opportunity to travel and present his findings at conferences around the country, and he looks forward to continuing his research through a doctorate in chemistry.

“I would like to apply my knowledge and skills to solve challenges in the pharmaceutical industry and make a difference in the pharmaceutical research,” says Hageman. 

Fun facts

  •          Plays with the unofficial KU soccer team against other Big 12 schools
  •          If he could be anything for one day: medical trainer for professional soccer 
  •          Often gets up early to golf for two hours before starting work


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