UConn School of Pharmacy graduate students took the top three places for their oral presentations at Academic Research Award in the AAPS Northeastern Regional Discussion Group (NERDG) Annual Meeting April 16, 2021:
First prize – Karishma Dhuri, Dr. Raman Bahal Lab
Dhuri’s research focuses on developing novel therapeutics for lymphoma therapy, combining nucleic acid chemistry and nanotechnology to target multiple oncomiRs. They investigate peptide nucleic acid (PNA) and phosphorothioate(PS)-based anti-miR probes which can target the aberrant miRNAs for a multitude of therapeutic applications.
Second prize – Jia He, Dr. Diane Burgess Lab
The host immune-mediated foreign body reaction is one of the major challenges impairing the long-term functionality of many medical implants. He’s (with team) goal is to design and develop a long-acting polymer-based anti-inflammatory drug eluting system to improve the biocompatibility and longevity of medical implants. For such drug eluting systems, variations in drug solubility, the relaxation of the polymer chains as well as the geometry of the drug reservoir lead to differences in drug release patterns, allowing us to tune drug release according to specific requirements for different medical implants and devices. We conducted in vitro investigations of the release kinetics and transport mechanisms in devices with different drug loading and/or excipients to help understand and ensure their in vivo performance. This work provides a fundamental understanding of a retrievable matrix type device with good control of local inflammation over a long duration (months to several years), which paves the way towards the realization of long-acting anti-inflammatory drug eluting medical implants in the clinic.
Third Prize- Aniket Wahane – Dr. Raman Bahal Lab
Wahane’s research is focused on developing versatile nanoformulations for the delivery of chemotherapeutic agents and synthetic nucleic acid analogs for many different biomedical applications.