Pharm.D. Research Postings


Research Listings

GAINESVILLE, JACKSONVILLE AND ORLANDO STUDENTS

Dr. John Allen [Multi-Drug Resistant Bacterial Infections and Clostridiodes Difficile burden during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Use of Real-World Evidence]

Our research aims will evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on MDRO/CD infections on both a broad public health scale and on an individual patient-level to address these gaps in our current understanding. Specific research aims of the current project include:

• Aim 1: To determine the incidence of hospital-acquired MDRO bacterial and CD infections during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to a historical control period in hospitalized inpatient adults

• Aim 2: Identify and the quantify factors that associate with the development of MDROs/CD infection in the pre-COVID and COVID periods to isolate contributory factors.

• Aim 3: Determine if COVID-19 patients have a higher incidence rate for developing MDRO/CD infections and worse clinical outcomes, compared to propensity-matched non-COVID-19 patients

The opportunity is available any semester and can be conducted as a research elective or volunteer experience. Preferred candidates will have experience with data collection and high motivation for success. Students can expect to work five hours weekly during this virtual opportunity.

John Allen headshot

CAMPUS PREFERENCE: GAINESVILLE STUDENTS

Dr. Takato Hiranita [Preclinical efficacy assessment of kratom alkaloids as a medication for opioid use disorder]

Anecdotal clinical evidence suggests a potential kratom products to treat opioid use disorder; however, pharmacological characterization of various kratom alkaloids remains to be done in order to assess preclinical efficacy assessment of kratom alkaloids as a medication for opioid use disorder. As a part of our funded studies, this project though the ALP will conduct the following studies:

1. Affinity and efficacy in vitro (human receptors) and ex vivo (rat brain tissue) using radioligand binding assays

2. In vivo potency and effectiveness in rats and mice using intravenous drug self-administration (abuse potential), drug discrimination (subjective effects), Whole Body Plethysmography (respiration), hotplate/tail-flick (antinociception and tolerance), and observation of withdrawal signs (dependence).

The project is available Fall, Spring and Summer. There is no change in research items across semesters because various novel compounds will be assessed using established experimental assays (in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo). The opportunity can be used as a research elective (requiring a total of 48 hours) or as volunteer work. Interested students can expect to work 8 hours at minimum weekly and are expected to be punctual and diligent.

Takato Hiranita headshot

GAINESVILLE, JACKSONVILLE AND ORLANDO STUDENTS

Dr. Bin Liu [Neuroinflammation in CNS disorders]

We study the involvement of glial cells in the CNS in the pathogenesis of neurological disorders including substance abuse, chronic pain and neurodegeneration to gain insight into the disease mechanisms and discover novel therapeutic targets. We employ a combination of biochemical, proteomic, cellular and in vivo approaches in our investigations. We are keen on mentoring student trainees in biomedical research and have a strong track record of promoting the career development of student trainees. Students interested in our lab can expect to work at least eight hours a week on campus. The opportunity is available any semester and can be conducted as a research elective or volunteer experience. Preferred candidates will have a strong interest in biomedical research, good time management skills and work well with others; Prior experience is not required.

Bin Liu

CAMPUS PREFERENCE: GAINESVILLE STUDENTS

Dr. Lance McMahon [Pharmacognosy: the foundational pharmaceutical science]

This multidisciplinary endeavor investigates the mechanism of action (pharmacodynamics) and biotransformation (pharmacokinetics) of natural products from a wide range of plants that contain diverse chemical classes primarily acting in the CNS. There are ample opportunities to train in cell based (in vitro) and whole animal (in vivo) pharmacological techniques, including highly translational preclinical models in rodents. Therapeutic indications include pain, anxiety, and depression, and therapeutic utility is measured against various liabilities including addiction, dependence, respiratory depression, and sedation. McMahon’s lab seeks highly motivated students with a passion for learning to fill either a paid, research elective or volunteer position. Work will be done on-campus and is available any semester.

Lance McMahon

GAINESVILLE, JACKSONVILLE AND ORLANDO STUDENTS

Dr. Rich Segal [Using a pharmacist community health worker collaboration to address medication adherence barriers]

Pharmacists are positioned to evaluate and educate patients regarding medication adherence; however, opportunities exist to leverage a collaborative approach in eliciting barriers encountered by patients, especially in minority groups.
Community health workers (CHWs) are individuals from the communities who form relationships with patients and help increase their access to health care resources. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a collaboration between CHWs and pharmacists in identifying and addressing medication adherence barriers faced by hypertensive patients. Pharm.D. students will expected to work at least three hours a week assisting study, and the activities can be done on-campus or in a remote work environment. The research opportunity can be a paid position, volunteer or a research elective and is available any semester.

Rich Segal 400x600

GAINESVILLE, JACKSONVILLE AND ORLANDO STUDENTS

Dr. Nathan Seligson [Gene Expression Patterns in Sarcoma]

Sarcomas are rare, aggressive cancers for which few therapeutic agents are available. Due to the rarity of sarcomas, this group of malignancies represent approximately 75-150 unique histologic and molecular disease. In this study we will make use of publicly available multi-omic data to classify novel subtypes of sarcoma in order to identify precision therapeutic strategies in this understudied disease state.

Students must have a working knowledge in R programing or be willing to learn R programing prior to beginning the project. The project is available Fall, Spring and Summer. The opportunity can be used as a research elective (requiring a total of 48 hours) or as volunteer work. Interested students can expect to work 4-12 hours weekly in this remote research project.

Nathan Seligson headshot

CAMPUS PREFERENCE: GAINESVILLE STUDENTS

Dr. Danxin Wang [Pharmacogenetics of drug metabolizing enzymes]

My lab focuses on identifying genetic, epigenetic and non-genetic factors affecting the expression and activity of drug metabolizing enzymes. The goal is to discover biomarkers predicting enzyme activity for personalized drug therapy.

The research project is available during the summer. The opportunity can be used as a research elective (requiring a total of 48 hours) or as volunteer work. Interested students can expect to work about 5-8 hours weekly. Preferred candidates will have some molecular biology lab experience (RNA/DNA preparation, PCR, gene expression, etc.) and will be responsible and careful.

Danxin Wang, School of Pharmacy, Associate Professor

CAMPUS PREFERENCE: GAINESVILLE STUDENTS

Dr. Jenny Wilkerson [Pharmacological evaluation of pathological pain interventions]

This ongoing project examines compounds from various pharmacological classes (i.e., cannabinoids, opioids) in several different rodent pain models. Behavioral pharmacology principles are used to examine potential therapeutic utility versus potential untoward side effects. Interested students can expect to work 10-12 hours a week on campus. The opportunity is available any semester and can be conducted as a research elective or volunteer experience.

Jenny Wilkerson

Campus Preference: Gainesville Students

Dr. Fan Zhang [In vitro platform for mRNA therapeutic screening]

Lipid nanoparticles have received clinical success in delivering the mRNA-based vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. To extend the application of lipid nanoparticle-based mRNA therapeutics beyond vaccine, more efficient and diverse mRNA delivery systems are needed. This project focuses on establishing a cell-based screening platform for identifying lipid nanoparticle formulation(s) that can efficiently transfect immune cells. The successful candidate will be used to develop next-generation cancer immunotherapy. Students under this project will be working on culturing mammalian cell lines, transfecting cells, and screening different lipid nanoparticle formulations. This is an on-campus research activity available during the summer. Students may volunteer in the lab or seek research elective credit and are expected to work 10 hours per week. Preferred skills include experience with cell culture and/or nanoparticle formulation and students should have a basic knowledge in chemistry, cell biology and molecular biology.

Fan Zhang