Industrial Pharmacy Student Awarded for Potentially Life-Saving Research

Pavan Kumar CPHS Award

Pavan Nukala and Ketan D. Patel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, CPHS

February 28, 2020

College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (CPHS) doctoral candidate Pavan Nukala earned the International Pharmaceutical Excipients Council of the Americas Foundation Award at the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists conference in November. 

“Congratulations to Pavan for receiving such a prestigious award for his outstanding Ph.D. research work,” said Ketan D. Patel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, CPHS. “It is a wonderful achievement for a graduate student to get recognized at a national level.”

The $1,500 scholarship focuses on recent significant contributions to formulation science and technology through innovative research with excipients. The foundation sponsors up to five scholarships each year to acknowledge excellence in graduate-level research. 

Pavan’s research, which is published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics, focuses on the development of technology that can deter potentially fatal multidose abuse of loperamide, an over-the-counter antidiarrheal drug that is often used as a low-cost alternative to methadone. 

According to Dr. Patel, Pavan has also received a New Jersey Pharmaceutical Association for Science and Technology graduate scholarship for this work. 

“Pavan is a very hard-working and determined student,” he added. “Since the beginning of his Ph.D. efforts, he has showed great interest in contributing toward research in preventing abuse of opioid medicines.”

The native of Wanaparthy, India, successfully defended his doctoral thesis in December and will earn his Ph.D. in May.  

He explained that recent advancements in formulation development and growing health care needs increased his interest in the field of pharmaceutical research. His future interests involve the development of novel abuse deterrent technologies for stimulants, opioid drugs, and highly abused OTC medications.

“I would like to express my deep gratitude toward my mentor, Dr. Patel,” he said. “His constant guidance, support, and encouragement allowed me to complete my research work successfully. He is the best mentor I have ever had.”