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Research

Students from the College of Pharmacy are working on a number of different projects with faculty members.

Following in the footsteps of our namesake, Dr. Rosalind Franklin, the faculty and students of the College of Pharmacy are actively involved in research and scholarship, to participate in the pursuit of new knowledge.

Dr. John Buolamwini directs the Laboratory for Molecular Design and Drug Discovery.  The lab is focused on the following major endeavors:

  1. Using chemical tools to dissect disease relevant biological pathways or mechanisms to discover new drug targets.
  2. Validation of novel therapeutic targets using pharmacological modulators in both traditional drug discovery and in a systems-oriented approach exploring complex molecular states typified by disease.
  3. Using computer-aided drug design and medicinal chemistry to identify and optimize small molecules as modulators and potential therapeutic lead compounds for cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and HIV/AIDS.

In addition, the lab collaborates with other faculty members at Rosalind Franklin University and other institutions on various drug discovery-oriented projects, utilizing molecular modeling and synthetic chemistry to develop structure-activity-relationships (SAR) to enable pre-clinical optimization of candidate molecules. Projects include developing RyR2 calcium channel modulators with Dr. Beth Stutzmann at RFUMS; nucleoside transporter and NHE-1 inhibitors with Professor Raúl Gazmuri at RFUMS; mitochondrial nucleoside transporters with Professor Raymond Schinazi at Emory University; MDM2 oncoprotein inhibitors with Professor Ruiwen Zhang at Texas Tech University; STAT3 inhibitors with Dr. Gulam Waris at RFUMS and Dr. James Turkson at the University of Hawaii.

Dr. Eric Walters' research uses computational chemistry to discover and optimize new drug leads, and to understand protein structure and function.  Projects include work on HIV protease inhibitors, in collaboration with Professor Arun Ghosh at Purdue University; studies of potassium ion channels with Professor Henry Sackin at RFUMS; studies of citrate transporters with Professor Ronald Kaplan at RFUMS; new oxazolidinone antibiotics with Professor Oludotun Phillips at Kuwait University; mitochondrial transcription factors with Professor Raúl Gazmuri, RFUMS.

Dr. Kristen Ahlschwede has research interests in nanotechnology, nanomedicine, delivery of therapeutic and diagnostic agents to the central nervous system, novel strategies to improve the uptake of nanoparticles at the blood brain barrier and pharmacokinetic data analysis and modeling.

Dr. Viki Barr is an Infectious Diseases Pharmacist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.  Her research focuses on gram-negative resistance, de-escalation therapy, pharmacokinetics of antimicrobials, HIV, and antimicrobial stewardship.

Dr. Jessica Cottreau is an infectious diseases pharmacist, and has research interests in antimicrobial stewardship outcomes in acute and ambulatory care settings. Her academic research areas include factors that influence student progression in pharmacy programs and faculty retention and development.

Dr. Rahul Deshmukh investigates drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics and CYP-mediated drug-drug interactions.

Dr. Sean Kane is a Critical Care pharmacist, with research interests in septic shock, pharmacokinetics in critically ill patients, and using podcasting as an educational modality.

Dr. Abbie Lyden is involved in clinical research in Emergency Medicine, particularly in evaluating the impact of clinical pharmacists on the reduction of medication errors, toxicology, and critical care.

Dr. Shivaputra Patil is a medicinal chemist with research interests in the design and synthesis of novel agents for anti-cancer therapies. His research interests include the design and development of novel chemotherapeutic agents for anti-cancer and anti-viral therapies.

Dr. Ateequr Rahman earned his PhD in Pharmacy Administration, with a focus on pharmacoeconomics and outcomes.  His research areas include assessment of electronic and personal health records, interventions in rural and health disparity populations, health-related quality of life, health preference and utility, patient satisfaction and symptom assessment studies.

Dr. Kristy Shanahan has extensive experience in clinical laboratory science. Her current research work deals with developing a model to study the effects of extranuclear hTERT in mitochondria. 

Dr. Michael Shuman is a Pharmacist at Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center and specializes in Psychiatric Medicine. His current research is focused on pharmacologic management of hypervigilance and nightmares associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as application of pharmacogenomics to psychotropic prescribing. Additional research interests include reduction of risks associated with chronic opioid use, increasing clozapine utilization among persons with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective disorder, as well as managing complications of traumatic brain injury

The College of Pharmacy produces an annual report of the research and scholarly activities of our faculty and students, which you can view or download.