Yi-Hua Chiang named finalist in Three-Minute Thesis Competition

Yi-Hua Chiang, M.S., represented the University of Florida College of Pharmacy as one of 11 finalists in the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition on Nov. 1, 2023. The event was held at the Reitz Union.

Chiang, mentored by Abhisheak Sharma, Ph.D., M.Pharm., is a third-year graduate student studying opioid use disorder.

Her research focuses on the use of kratom, a tropical evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia. Chiang’s studies have shown that kratom has the potential to treat opioid use disorder. Specifically, she has explored mitragynine, the major bioactive alkaloid in kratom, recognized for its ability to improve opioid use disorder without the risks of abuse and side effects typically associated with opioid use disorder treatments.Yi Hua

Chiang’s research project is bridging the gap between bench-side discoveries and clinical applications.

“We use a pharmacokinetic model to simulate the plasma-concentration profile of mitragynine and its metabolite,” said Chiang. “This model, which has been established and validated across different animal models, holds the promise of transforming the way opioid use disorder is treated, offering innovative solutions such as dosage selection, evaluating drug interactions and developing novel drug delivery systems. We anticipate this model can help millions of lives.”

Three-Minute Thesis is a university-wide research communication competition held every year, originally developed by the University of Queesland in Australia.