Starting this summer, students at Roosevelt University’s College of Pharmacy (COP) will have the chance to do cutting-edge drug research alongside experienced faculty researchers in the University’s new research laboratories.
The new labs for biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, pathophysiology and pharmaceutics/translational research are located in rooms 561 and 563 at the Schaumburg Campus. (Pictured above in Room 563 is Assistant Professor Balwant Chauhan, a patholophysiologist who will be doing research in the new lab over the summer). With the recent opening, pharmacy students now have the opportunity to do research in drug development and design, drug action at the cellular level, drug formulation delivery and manufacturing.
“We try to impress upon our students that one avenue they can take in utilizing a PharmD degree is to go into drug discovery and development,” said Lawrence Potempa, associate professor of biochemistry and immunology and one of many faculty researchers who will lead students in elective research training for 10 weeks in the new labs over the summer. (Pictured at right is COP student Agata Siwak, among 16 students who will assist COP faculty members with their research).
“PharmD candidates need to understand everything about a drug – from discovery to testing to FDA approval and marketing. They will find many opportunities to understand these things about drugs while doing research in our labs,” Potempa said.
Professor of Pharmaceutics and Chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences Moji Christianah Adeyeye,(who holds a bag of test tablets being used in research at left), will oversee laboratory operations. She and her team of students and staff will begin in late May to do research on developing an ophthalmic delivery system that is intended for treatment of cataracts and infections. The team also will work with dosage forms for children with HIV-AIDS. The drug itself is now being tested in clinical trials in Nigeria.
“We will also be looking at what happens when a patient takes a test drug, documenting how different test formulations travel through the body and how fast they work,” said Adeyeye.
Her team includes Pharmaceutics Lab Manager and affiliate faculty member Ruth Adewuya (pictured at far right), Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutics Ravi Panakanti (pictured below with beaker) and Associate Professor of Biopharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics Amusa Adebayo (pictured just below).
The new laboratories at the Schaumburg Campus have different pieces of equipment used in synthesizing, developing and testing new drugs. These include a rotovap, high performance liquid chromatography, different types of microscopes, particle size analyzer, disintegration and dissolution apparati,humidity chambers (for stability testing) and tablet press.
“This is a new paradigm for Roosevelt University,” said Potempa. “We are bringing an expertise in biopharmaceutical research and development into the University and a passion through our work to make discoveries that will improve science as well as the health of people all over the world.”
Potempa will work with three College of Pharmacy students on the protein research, while six College of Pharmacy students work over the summer under the direction of Kurup on her HIV/AIDS inhibitor research.
Meanwhile, three College of Pharmacy students plus four students from Elgin Community College who are part of the National Institutes of Health grant program at Roosevelt will work with Adeyeye and her team on drug development. “I think research is an important aspect of learning at the pharmacy school and I plan to take advantage of my time in the lab this summer,” said Agata Siwak, a COP student.
“I just wanted to have some experience with research, which is why I’ve chosen to spend my time working with the experts in the College’s research labs,” added Agnieska Wasilik, another COP student (pictured at left) who will be working in the pharmaceutics lab this summer.
View this article in the Daily Herald.
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