skip to main content

Research Opportunities

Research Opportunities

PharmD students are encouraged to contact the interim Associate Dean to place for possible placement for research training. Students may also directly contact the faculties.  

Research Projects available for PharmD students:

Srinath Palakurthi - Drug Delivery & Nanomedicine

Our lab is interested in drug delivery of small molecules and biologicals. We primarily focus on addressing formulation challenges by developing nanoparticles, conducting cell culture, product-characterization, and pharmacokinetics. The lab is currently working on cancer and inflammatory diseases.

Zhenyu Li - Thrombosis and inflammation

Our lab is interested in the mechanism of thrombosis and inflammation. We focus on two major projects: one is about the molecular mechanism by which platelets are activated by physiological agonists such as thrombin and collagen. We use mouse models to investigate the mechanism of thrombosis. Another project is to understand

Chendil Damodaran - Cancer Research

Our lab is interested in focusing on etiology, prevention, and identifying small molecules for the treatment of various types of cancer. The lab primarily focuses on basic research, which includes cell culture, molecular biology, and in vivo(mice) experiments. The lab is currently conducting several projects related to cancer research.

Joy Alonzo - Community Translational Research

Focus is to assess health disparity interventions and innovations in negatively impacted communities. Special focus is on novel interventions that impact underserved minority (URM) populations. Current projects include remote telehealth care station, rural and URM COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, rural prevention, and treatment of substance use disorders, emergency services augmentation, evaluation of novel healthcare technology to engage rural and URM populations and improve outcomes. 

Lin Zhu - Drug delivery and nanomedicine

Our lab is interested in the novel formulations, drug delivery systems, and nanomedicine for delivery of small molecule drugs and macromolecules (e.g. proteins, peptides, gene, etc. ). The lab primarily focuses on basic research, which includes chemistry, physics, cell culture, and in vivo(mice) experiments. The lab is currently conducting the projects related to cancer-targeted drug delivery.

Sara Rogers - Pharmacogenomics Research

The Interprofessional Pharmacogenomics (IPGx) Clinic primarily focuses on implementation of pharmacogenomics and artificial intelligence tools for chronic disease management in primary care settings. IPGx offers genotyping and clinical pharmacokinetics testing to optimize medication management.  Our clinic has initiated several projects related to advancing genomics in medicine.

Narendra Kumar - Inflammation Research

The research projects in our lab focuses on (a) how intestinal functions regulates chronic low-grade inflammation (CLGI) and (b) how reversal of CLGI by enzyme-inhibitors ameliorates the symptoms of obesity, diabetes, dementia, and epithelial cancer? To answer these two questions, our lab uses animal experiments in genetically modified mice, behavioral studies, blood/urine analysis, histopathology, flow-cytometry, microscopy, mammalian cell culture, and drug discovery using recombinant protein production technology.

Jayshree Mishra - Cancer Research

Our lab focuses on target identification in drug discovery, developing novel biomarkers for early detection of childhood obesity and colon cancer and identifying small molecules inhibitors (validated through artificial intelligence) for the treatment of triple negative breast cancer brain metastasis. The lab primarily focuses on basic research, which includes in vitro protein -protein interaction, cell culture, molecular biology, and in vivo(mice) experiments.

Hamed Ali - Lab research interest

My lab activity implements integrated research in drug discovery, including computer-aided drug design, homology modeling, virtual high throughput screening (vHTS), synthesis, and biological screening. Using these skills, our main aim is to design drugs that selectively target HER2 and VEGFR2 tyrosine kinases to target aggressive breast cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma, respectively. Our compounds revealed significant selective and potent antiproliferative activities (~20-fold) against HER2+ breast cancer cell lines in vitro and exhibited a potent in vivo tumor regression against the BT474 xenograft nude mice model. This effort could play a significant role in the treatment of about 1.8 million Americans diagnosed with cancer each year.

George Udeani - Clinical and Translation Research

Our research focuses on drug development (clinical testing) in the clinical trials environment, from Phase I through Phase IV  human studies.  We are also involved in translational research, which is research that turns observations made in the laboratory, clinic, and community into interventions (i.e., diagnostics and therapeutics) to improve health outcomes.

Yinan Wei - Basic Research

The drive behind our research is to understand the interaction of bacterial pathogens with antimicrobials, and with the host cells during infection. We are currently working on multiple projects on this front, ranging from the study of the mechanism of lethal infection, membrane protein biogenesis, to bacterial multidrug resistance. We have also established collaboration with groups both locally and nationally to pursue additional research interests including mechanisms of protein-protein interaction in solution, development of biomaterials and biomimetic membranes, and development of biosensors.

Fadi Khasawneh - Basic Research

Dr. Khasawneh’s laboratory research is focused on the study of thrombosis, such as heart attack, as well as platelet biology. The primary goal is to delineate signaling pathways involved in platelet activation and to investigate their role in the pathogenesis of thrombotic diseases. He is also interested in understanding the consequences of exposure to thirdhand smoke and hookah on platelet activation.

Sami Thangavel - Neuro AIDS: Interactions of Drugs of Abuse and HIV Infection

Our lab is predominantly interested in the neuropathogenesis of HIV and drug abuse. We are elucidating the role of HIV and drugs of abuse in energy dysregulation, which may lead to neurodegeneration. We examine the metabolic signatures through inflammasome profiles, mitochondrial biogenesis, and epigenetics. We use in vitro, ex vivo, and a transgenic rat model system in our experiments. We aim to develop novel diagnostics tests and treatments for neuroAIDs and neurologic damage related to drug abuse. 

Robert Hutchison - Research in Chronic Disease Management

Dr. Hutchison’s clinical practice and research at Sacred Heart Community Clinic involves improving outcomes in chronic disease management (examples- diabetes, hypertension, pain management, and smoking cessation).

Fatima Alshbool - Cardiovascular disease

My primary research interest is in the area of cardiovascular disease, specifically the role of platelets in such disease states. My goal is to identify new targets and agents for treating diseases such as stroke and myocardial infarction. To achieve this goal, we use mouse models and human platelets, and a host of pharmacological and biochemical approaches. Another key project in the laboratory focuses on investigating the impact of e-cigarettes (vaping) on platelet function and the risk of developing thrombotic diseases. 

Rene Verduzco - Translational research

Other areas of interest are assessing clinical pharmacist efforts in Antimicrobial Stewardship, telehealth, and other services.

Heather Hay - Clinical Research

Our group is interested in diabetes, cardiology, medication optimization in the elderly, and ambulatory care in general. Additionally, our group evaluates clinical pharmacy services and financial reimbursement for pharmacy services.

Daniela Bazan - Clinical Research

Dr. Bazan’s research focuses on pharmacist led interventions and their effects on clinical outcomes. The main areas of interest are internal medicine and infectious disease. Examples of current projects are the effects of pharmacist telehealth services on HbA1c and assessing the impact of a standardized pharmacy led culture review process.

Erxi Wu - Cancer Research and neurodegenerative disease research

Our laboratory looks for the novel effective breakthrough therapeutics for diseases (e.g., neuroblastoma, brain tumors, pancreatic cancer, as well as neurodegenerative diseases) using tools from human genomics, proteomics, and drug discovery. The laboratory has conducted several translational studies of crosstalk between cancer and neuroscience.