Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology

Scientist, Vision Science Research Center 
Scientist, Center for Aging


B.A. in Biology and Chemistry, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT (1972); Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA (1976); Postdoctoral training in Insulin Action, Brown University, Providence, RI (1979).

Postdoctoral Fellowship 05563-01 from the National Institutes of Health (1976-1979); UAB President's Teaching Award Winner, Schools of Health Related Sciences (1999); UAB School of Medicine, Cadeuceus Award, Outstanding Basic Science Instructor (1999); Medical College of Georgia, School of Graduate Studies Alumni Association, Distinguished Alumnus Award (2000); UAB School of Dentistry, election into OKU Dental Honor Society, 2005; UAB School of Optometry Award for Outstanding Basic Science Instructor, 2005; .American Association of Diabetes Educators, National Diabetes Camp Educator of the Year, 2005.

Research interests: 
I have been interested in various aspects of diabetes research for the past 25 years. My laboratory has investigated insulin binding and action in isolated tissues and cells. Currently, I am studying the possibility of delivering insulin and other peptide drugs at therapeutic levels using ocular, nasal or oral formulations containing novel absorption-enhancing agents. A patent has been issued on this work and a license has been signed with a biotech firm to bring this product to market. In addition to this primary line of research, I have participated in diabetes education programs in urban and rural settings where health care delivery to persons with diabetes mellitus was lacking. I serve on several public service committees dedicated to diabetes advocacy and I play a leaderhip role in diabetes education and advocacy in the State of Alabama and nationally.

Selected Publications:

Pillion, D.J., Wang, P., Yorks, J., McCann P. & Meezan, E. Systemic Absorption of Insulin and Glucagon Applied to the Eyes of Rats and a Diabetic Dog. J Ocul Pharmacol Tox 11:283-295, 1995.

Pillion, D.J., Hosmer, S. and Meezan, E. Dodecylmaltoside-mediated Nasal and Ocular Absorption of Lyspro-Insulin: Independence of Surfactant Action from Peptide Multimer Dissociation. Pharmaceut. Res. 15:1641-1643, 1998.

Ahsan, F., Arnold, J.J., Meezan, E. and Pillion, D.J. Mutual Inhibition of the Insulin Absorption-Enhancing Properties of Dodecylmaltoside and Dimethyl-B-Cyclodextrin Following Nasal Administration. Pharmaceutical Research 18: 608-614, 2001.

Ahsan, F., Arnold, J., Meezan, E. and Pillion, D.J. Enhanced Bioavailability of Calcitonin Formulated with Alkylglycosides Following Nasal and Ocular Administration in Rats. Pharmaceutical Research 18: 1742-1746, 2001.

Pillion, D., Ahsan, F., Arnold, J. J., Balusubramanian, B.M., Piraner, O and Meezan, E. Synthetic long-chain Alkylmaltosides and Alkyl Sucrose Esters as Enhancers of Nasal Insulin Absorption. J. Pharmaceut. Sci. 91: 1456-1462, 2002.

Arnold, J, Ahsan, F., Meezan, E. and Pillion, D.J. Nasal Administration of Low Molecular Weight Heparin. J. Pharmaceut. Sci. 91: 1707-1714, 2002.

Ahsan, F., Arnold, J.J., Meezan, E. and Pillion, D.J. Sucrose Cocoate, a component of cosmetic 
preparations, enhances nasal and ocular peptide absorption. Int. J. Pharmaceut.251: 195-203, 2003.

Ahsan, F., Arnold, J. J., Meezan, E. Schwiebert, E.M. and Pillion, D.J. Effects of the Permeability 
Enhancers, Tetradecylmaltoside and Dimethyl-B-Cyclodextrin, on Insulin Movement across Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells (16HBE14o-). Eur. J. Pharm. Sci., 20:27-34, 2003.

Johnson, TM, Miller M, Pillion D, Ouslander J. Vasopressin and Nocturnal Polyuria in Older Adults with Frequent Nighttime Voiding. Journal of Urology. Vol 170, 145-48, 2003.

Umlauf, M.G., Chasens, E.R., Greevy, R.A., Arnold, J., Burgio, K.L. and Pillion, D.J. Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Nocturia and Polyuria in Older Adults. Sleep 27: 139-144, 2004.

Arnold, J.J., Ahsan, F. Meezan, E. and Pillion, D.J. Correlation of Tetradecylmaltoside Induced Increases in Nasal Peptide Drug Delivery with Morphological Changes in Nasal Epithelial Cells. J. Pharmaceut. Sci. 93: 2205-2213, 2004.

Johnson, T.M., II, Miller, M., Tang, T., Pillion, D.J. and Ouslander, J.G. Oral DDAVP for Nighttime 
Urinary Incontinence in Characterized Nursing Home Residents: A Pilot Study. J. Am. Med. Direct. Assoc., in press.

Pillion, D.J., Arnold, J.J. and Meezan, E. Nasal Delivery of Peptide Drugs, in: "Enhancement in Drug Delivery." Eds.: Touitou, E. and Barry, B.W., in press.


To contact Dr. Pillion:
1670 University Boulevard
VH 242
Birmingham, AL 35294-0019
Phone: (205) 934-4570
Fax: (205) 934-8240
E-mail: dpillion@uab.edu