Graham Timmins
Graham Timmins


Graham S. Timmins, associate professor of pharmacy in the Department of Pharmaceutical Science's at UNM's College of Pharmacy has been chosen as the 2013 STC.UNM Innovation Fellow in recognition of his achievements as one of the University of New Mexico's leading innovators.

This special award is presented each year by the STC.UNM Board of Directors to a university faculty inventor whose body of technologies has made a significant social and economic impact on society and the marketplace.

The award will be presented to Timmins at STC's 2013 Innovation Awards & Reception on Tuesday, April 9. The annual event recognizes UNM faculty, staff and students who have received issued patents and registered copyrights/trademarks within the past year. In addition to the Innovation Fellow Award, Timmins will also receive an Innovation Award for an issued patent.

Timmins received his B. S. and Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Leeds, followed by postdoctoral work at York University, both in the United Kingdom. Subsequently, he served as a research assistant professor at Dartmouth College and as a senior researcher at the University of Wales College of Medicine before joining the College of Pharmacy faculty in 2001.

During his time at UNM, he has disclosed 32 technologies, received four issued patents, and has many pending patents. His technologies have been optioned and licensed to two start-ups companies. Timmins' breath-test technology for the early detection and treatment of cystic fibrosis led to the formation, in 2010, of local start-up, Avisa Pharma, a development-stage diagnostic drug and device company developing a breath test to detect and monitor infection in the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis, ventilator-associated pneumonia, and tuberculosis. Timmins is a Co-Founder of Avisa Pharma and its chief science officer.

Timmins' areas of research include the use of stable isotope-labeled compounds in drugs and diagnostics and the study of free radical biology in melanoma and infectious disease. Current projects are focused on:

1. using stable isotope-labeled tracer compounds to both detect lung infections by a range of bacterial pathogens and to monitor their treatment, relying upon unique bacterial chemistry to produce labeled compounds for analysis, predominantly by breath testing;

2. using stable isotope-labeled drugs and dosage forms to improve both API activity and enable counterfeit dosage form detection;

3. using advanced nanostructured matrices to provide live-cell TB vaccines of improved stability and immunogenicity; and

4. studying how melanin acts as a photosensitizer in melanoma formation, and how it can be inhibited to protect against melanoma.

On behalf of the STC.UNM Board of Directors, STC President & CEO Lisa Kuuttila stated: "STC is honored to bestow this award on a university inventor who embodies the meaning of innovation in all aspects of his work. His research is focused on solving real world problems with creative solutions that will translate into products to help doctors provide better treatments that are aimed at improving the health of their patients, particularly important for those suffering from chronic conditions."

Media contact: Denise Bissell (505) 272-7310; email: