Home Pharmaceutics UConn Graduate Student in Pharmaceutical Sciences Research – Summer 2021

UConn Graduate Student in Pharmaceutical Sciences Research – Summer 2021


UConn School of Pharmacy graduate students spent much of the summer of 2021 focusing on research. Graduate students interested in medicinal chemistry, pharmacology and toxicology or pharmacy, connect with Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences professors and often work in that member’s lab assisting with ongoing funded work.

“One of our main missions as academics and academics of the Faculty of Pharmacy is to train the next generation of scientists in pharmaceutical sciences by providing them with the skills and critical thinking capacities necessary to meet the emerging challenges of the pharmaceutical industry. modern science, whether fundamental or applied. Our department has a rich history of providing highly talented and well-rounded scientists to the state of Connecticut, nationally and internationally. We are very proud of our trainees, present and past, and of the impact of their contributions on a constantly evolving scientific landscape, ”said Dr José Manautou, Head of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Professor of Toxicology.

Seven graduate student researchers provide one-minute extracts of their work below:

Vishal Kasina (doctoral candidate ’25)

Research axis: Improving the activity of miRNAs using PLGA nanoparticles loaded with miRNA mimics

Prize Support Work: RE Singiser Memorial Scholarship

Faculty Mentor: Dr Raman Bahal

“Vishal is making excellent progress in developing new nanotechnology-based tools to provide RNA mimics for cancer treatment. In another project, he is actively working in collaboration with Dr Greg Sartor’s lab to expand RNA-based therapies to treat substance use disorders. We are convinced that the result of his projects will open new avenues for genetic medicine. “- Dr Raman Bahal

Wei-Chung (Jimmy) Luo, BS (doctoral candidate ’22)

Research area: Impact of formulation and freezing variations on the quality and stability of lyophilized nanoparticles

Funded by: Dane O. Kildsig Center for Pharmaceutical Processing Research (CPPR)

Supporting work for the award: Gerald J. Jackson Memorial Fellowship Award in 2021

Faculty Mentor: Dr Xiuling Lu

“Jimmy wants to understand and overcome the stability issues of complex nanoparticle drug delivery systems during the freeze-drying process. These systems, which have gained increasing attention in recent years, are difficult to fabricate for large-scale long-term storage due to the complexity of nanoparticles. Jimmy has developed a new approach to study these highly researched frozen nanoparticle systems using microstructure-based assessments so that he can observe nanoparticle changes during freezing in real time. This allows efficient optimization of the formulation and the lyophilization process. Co-teaching with Dr Robin Bogner, Jimmy has become an expert in freeze drying! – Dr Xiuling Lu

Shipra Malik, MS (doctoral candidate on December 22)

Research axis: targeting genomic DNA and RNA for genotherapy

Funding by: NIH (National Institute of Health)

Prize supporting the work: Karl A. Herzog scholarship; UConn Interdisciplinary Fellowship in Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) and Pharmaceutical Sciences (UConn); Gerald J. Jackson Memorial Scholarship (UConn)

Faculty Mentor: Dr Raman Bahal

“Shipra is an exceptionally multitasking and diligent doctoral student. candidate who rose to the challenge of developing precision RNA and DNA-based therapies to target terrible diseases like pediatric lymphoma, pediatric glioblastoma and sickle cell anemia. She is developing new strategies at the interface of nucleic acid chemistry and drug delivery, with an emphasis on gene editing and targeting-based treatments. – Dr Raman Bahal

Tanu Mehta, MA (doctoral candidate ’23)

Research focus: Attenuation of triboburden in pharmaceutical powders using a modified V-Blender

Price support work: UConn START Preliminary Proof of Concept Fund

Mentor: Dr Bodhi Chaudhuri

“The pharmaceutical industry involves the handling of powders on a large scale for the manufacture of solid dosage forms (tablets / capsules) as they constitute approximately 85% of all dosage forms. A considerable generation of static charges significantly affects the granular flow, creating industrial storage problems such as blockage, segregation and, unfortunately, industrial fire explosions in the presence of volatile solvents. In addition, pharmaceutical powders are mostly insulators and have small particle size with low bulk density, which causes them to accumulate and retain electrostatic charge for a long time. Tanu is working on the manufacture of two new charge attenuating V-mixers (following the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) standard), one of which already shows a significant reduction in the static charge build-up of the powder to be mixed. . – Dr Bodhi Chaudhuri

Akshay Narula, MS (PhD candidate ’25)

Research axis: Effect of temperature on the mechanisms of destabilization of aggregates of amorphous drugs in solution

Funded by: Dane O. Kildsig Center of Pharmaceutical Processing Research (CPPR)

Faculty Mentor: Dr Na Li

“We are very fortunate to have Akshay working diligently in the lab during the pandemic. He explores to discover the growth mechanisms of soft nanoparticles both in solution and in the solid state. Combining fundamental knowledge and industrial applications, his work will address an important question at the interface of pharmaceutical processing, materials sciences, as well as colloidal and interfacial sciences. We look forward to the exciting results of this project thanks to his dedication and persistent efforts. “- Dr Na Li

Bo Wan, MS (PhD candidate ’23)

Research axis: Impact of the variation of the polymer source on the quality and performance of parenteral microspheres

Funded by: Karl A. Herzog scholarship (May 2021); IPEC Foundation – Graduate Student Grant (August 2021)

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Diane Burgess

“Bo’s research includes studying the impact of variations in polymer sources on the properties and performance of different long-acting parenteral drug products (in particular, leuprolide acetate and risperidone microspheres). ). In particular, he studies the differences in characteristics of polymers due to source variations and their relationship with the final formulation properties and the in vitro / in vivo performance of the microspheres. With this understanding, polymer similarity criteria can be established for consistency guidance that will help promote generic drug development for these expensive parenteral products, making drugs more affordable for patients without compromising quality and safety. . This is very important because the polymer is a key component of dosage forms of microspheres and controls the rate of drug release and therefore the performance of the drug. Bo is developing in vitro-in vivo correlation models in order to be able to predict the performance of dosage forms of microspheres. Therefore, Bo’s work will help reduce human studies and pave the way for future biologic derogation applications. Ultimately, this work will lead to more affordable generic complex parenteral microsphere products that are more widely available to the public. – Emeritus Professor of Pharmacy, Dr. Diane J. Burgess

Gowtham Yenduri, MS (doctoral candidate on December 21)

Research axis: Research, development of a new lipid-based formulation using a continuous manufacturing platform for complex parenteral drugs

Funding: Supported by several US FDA grants.

Award supporting the work: RE Singiser Memorial Fellowship in 2019, 2020 and 2021

Mentor: Dr. Diane Burgess

“Gowtham is an ambitious and dedicated researcher who uses his diverse skills in his impactful research. Gowtham’s research is focused on the development and production of novel lipid-based formulations using our continuous manufacturing platform for complex parenteral products. His research also focuses on the development of standards for liposomes, with precise particle size and high stability. This work is innovative and at the cutting edge of pharmaceutical manufacturing. The continuous manufacture of pharmaceutical products brings enormous benefits to the public in terms of improving product quality and reducing costs. There is also a considerable energy reduction in continuous processing and therefore a reduction in the carbon footprint.

I would also like to point out that Gowtham has been heavily involved in the service at UConn. He was president of the student chapter of AAPS and is currently president of the student chapter of ISPE. Its leadership at the national and international levels is even more significant. He is currently the president of the AAPS student community (AAPS is the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and has a high proportion of international members). – Emeritus Professor of Pharmacy, Dr. Diane J. Burgess

Learn more about opportunities for graduate students in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the School of Pharmacy.


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