Derek H. Owen, PhD

FHI 360 | Scientist, Contraceptive Technology Innovation

Derek H. Owen, PhD, is a Scientist in the Contraceptive Technology Innovation department at FHI 360, where he specializes in the design of drug delivery systems.

He has been applying engineering principles to the field of reproductive biology since his Ph.D. work in chemical engineering at the University of California, Davis, where he studied changes in the properties of cervical mucus and how those changes modulate sperm motility. He completed post‐doctoral training at Duke University in the Zoology Department, then spent 12 years there as a Research Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. At Duke, he studied the material properties of drug delivery gels, particularly microbicidal gels for the prevention of AIDS transmission, as well as drug delivery to the eye. His work experience also includes being the lead scientist for a medical device start‐up company and a patent analyst.

Since joining FHI 360 in 2008, Dr. Owen has worked as project leader on programs to develop a method of non‐surgical sterilization, a biodegradable contraceptive implant, and a contraceptive microneedle patch. In addition, he has provided technical assistance for the Sino-implant project, FHI 360’s malaria initiative, and a long-acting contraceptive injectable. He also served as co-investigator on a project to evaluate adherence in clinical trials of ARV vaginal rings.