Mark Powell is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) with over thirty years’ experience as an analytical chemist. He is an expert in sampling and sample preparation, chromatography (liquid and gas), spectroscopy (atomic and molecular) and pharmaceutical dissolution testing. Mark was Honorary Treasurer of the RSC’s Analytical Division and led a working group on continuing professional development until July 2016.
After completing a PhD in analytical chemistry, he worked at a senior level in a number of industrial laboratories with responsibility for the development of analytical methods capable of quantifying very low levels of organic compounds in a wide range of different sample types. These included pharmaceutical raw materials, drinking water, industrial effluent and marine biota.
Mark joined Liverpool John Moores University’s School of Pharmacy and Chemistry in 1997 as a Senior Lecturer, teaching chromatography, mass spectrometry and sample preparation. He was Programme Leader for the University’s MSc in Instrumental Chemical Analysis and was also active in research and consultancy.
In 2003, he joined the newly-formed Quay Pharmaceuticals, a contract research and manufacturing organisation specialising in early-stage drug development, where he set up the analytical facility and managed the analytical development programme. The majority of projects involved novel small drug molecules presented in solid oral dosage forms, although nasal and transdermal products were also formulated. Mark and his team successfully tackled the job of developing suitable analytical methods for a number of challenging sample types, including low-dose drugs in oily or poorly-soluble matrices, and combination products with orders-of-magnitude differences between the highest-strength and lowest-strength active ingredients.
In 2010 Mark was appointed Quay’s Scientific Manager, becoming involved more generally with drug development programmes and establishing collaborations with a number of UK universities and instrument manufacturers. His work at Quay has resulted in a number of published papers and presentations at international scientific conferences on topics as diverse as the adulteration of herbal medicines and novel methods of analysis for volatile impurities. In addition, he led GMP audits of contract analytical laboratories used by Quay and developed internal training programmes in analytical chemistry and technical report writing.
Mark left Quay Pharmaceuticals in September 2013 to set up Mark Powell Scientific and has enjoyed working with companies of all sizes around the world on a variety of training, consultancy and expert witness assignments.