Nitesh K. Kunda

Assistant Professor
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Pharmaceutics, Liverpool John Moores University, 2014Master of Science, Drug Delivery, The London School of Pharmacy, 2011Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honors), Birla Institute of Technology and Science, 2009

Dr. Nitesh Kunda joined St. John’s University in 2018 as an Assistant Professor in Industrial Pharmacy/ Pharmaceutics in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences within the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Prior to joining St. John’s, Dr. Kunda was a post-doctoral fellow (2015 – 2018) at the College of Pharmacy, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, with a research focus in aerosol drug and vaccine delivery. Dr. Kunda holds a Ph.D. (2014) in Formulation and Drug Delivery from the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University in Liverpool, United Kingdom. Dr. Kunda’s dissertation focused on developing a novel pneumococcal vaccine that can be inhaled as a dry powder. Dr. Kunda holds a Master’s (2011) in Drug Delivery from the London School of Pharmacy, London, UK and a Bachelor’s (2009) in Pharmacy (Honors) from Birla Institute of Technology & Science-Pilani (BITS-Pilani), India.

Dr. Kunda’s current research interests include the use of nanotechnology in developing therapeutics against infectious disease and cancer, synthesizing polymeric nanoparticles and attaching targeting moieties for site-specific delivery, amorphous solid dispersions, and drug and vaccine formulation for pulmonary delivery. Dr. Kunda’s laboratory specializes in developing dry powder biologics that do not require cold-chain for storage and transport thereby decreasing the cost of biologics-based products significantly.

Dr. Kunda has numerous high-impact peer-reviewed research publications covering a wide variety of topics including formulation, drug delivery, stabilization of vaccines, and health effects due to common environmental toxicants. Dr. Kunda is an active member of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS, since 2012) and many other professional organizations. Dr. Kunda has been a moderator for many AAPS workshops and sessions and organized regional AAPS meeting. Dr. Kunda is currently editing a book with Springer Publishing, focusing on mucosal delivery of drugs and biologics in nanoparticles, in the AAPS Advances in the Pharmaceutical Sciences series. Further, Dr. Kunda is an editorial board member of PLoS One and a reviewer for many high-impact journals such as International Journal of Pharmaceutics, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, Toxicology in vitro, Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics, and PLoS One.

  • Nanotechnology
  • Drug delivery
  • Vaccines
  • Targeted drug delivery
  • Lung cancer
  • Microneedles
  • Amorphous Solid Dispersions
  • Dry powder vaccination
  • Pulmonary drug delivery
  • Respiratory infections

*Interested students can email Dr. Kunda for potential research opportunities.

  • Associate Fellow of The Higher Education Academy (UK), 2013, UK Professional Standards Framework, The Higher Education Academy
  • CN Davies Award, 2013 and 2014, The Aerosol Society
  • Kunda, Nitesh K, Julianne Peabody, Lukai Zhai, Dominique N Price, et al. “Evaluation of the Thermal Stability and the Protective Efficacy of Spray-Dried HPV Vaccine, Gardasil® 9.” Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics (2019): DOI:10.1080/21645515.2019.1593727.  
  • Mohamed, Adel et al. “Polymeric Nanoparticles for the Delivery of MiRNA to Treat Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).” European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics 136 (2019): 1-8.
  • Zhai, Lukai et al. “Oral Immunization with Bacteriophage MS2-L2 VLPs Protects against Oral and Genital Infection with Multiple HPV Types Associated with Head & Neck Cancers and Cervical Cancer.” Antiviral Research 166 (2019): 56–65.
  • Zychowski, Katherine E, Abigail Wheeler, et al. “Toxic Effects of Particulate Matter Derived from Dust Samples Near the Dzhidinski Ore Processing Mill, Eastern Siberia, Russia.” Cardiovascular Toxicology (2019):
  • Rossi I, Buttini F, Affaticati F, Sonvico F, Pieroni M, Miller EK, Kunda NK, Muttil P, Bettini R. “In Vitro Activity of Inhalable Microparticles Containing Anti-Tb Drugs and an Efflux Pump Inhibitor against Mycobacteria Infections” Journal of Aerosol Medicine and Pulmonary Drug Delivery (2019); 32(2): A1-A27.
  • Price DP*, Kunda NK*, Miller EK, Muttil P. “Inhaled Therapeutics against TB: the Promise of Pulmonary Treatment and Prevention Strategies in the Clinic.” for Inhalation Aerosols Physical and Biological Basis for Therapy edited by Anthony J. Hickey and Heidi M. Mansour in series Lung Biology in Health and Disease edited by Dr. Claude Lenfant. Informa Healthcare/CRC Press/Taylor & Francis (2019); 1: 361-375.
  • Petkar, K.C. et al. “Development of Novel Octanoyl Chitosan Nanoparticles for Improved Rifampicin Pulmonary Delivery: Optimization by Factorial Design.” AAPS PharmSciTech 19.4 (2018): 1758–1772.
  • Kunda, Nitesh K, Dominique N Price, and Pavan Muttil. “Respiratory Tract Deposition and Distribution Pattern of Microparticles in Mice Using Different Pulmonary Delivery Techniques.” Vaccines 6.3 (2018): 41.
  • Rodrigues, Tasson C. et al. “Mucosal Immunization with PspA (Pneumococcal Surface Protein A)-Adsorbed Nanoparticles Targeting the Lungs for Protection against Pneumococcal Infection.” Ed. Daniela Flavia Hozbor. PLoS ONE 13.1 (2018): e0191692.
  • Zychowski, Katherine E, Vamsi Kodali, et al. “Respirable Uranyl-Vanadate Containing Particulate Matter Derived from a Legacy Uranium Mine Site Exhibits Potentiated Cardiopulmonary Toxicity.” Toxicological Sciences April (2018): kfy064-kfy064.
  • Price, Dominique N, Nitesh K Kunda, and Pavan Muttil. “Challenges Associated with the Pulmonary Delivery of Therapeutic Dry Powders for Preclinical Testing.” KONA Powder and Particle Journal advpub (2018): 1–15.
  • Price, Dominique N., Loreen R. Stromberg, et al. “In Vivo Pulmonary Delivery and Magnetic-Targeting of Dry Powder Nano-in-Microparticles.” Molecular Pharmaceutics 14.12 (2017): 4741–4750.
  • Kunda, Nitesh K., Julia Hautmann, Sebastián E. Godoy, Patricia Marshik, et al. “A Novel Approach to Study the PMDI Plume Using an Infrared Camera and to Evaluate the Aerodynamic Properties after Varying the Time between Actuations.” International Journal of Pharmaceutics 526.1–2 (2017): 41–49.
  • Kunda, Nitesh K., Denis Wafula, Meilinn Tram, Terry H. Wu, et al. “A Stable Live Bacterial Vaccine.” European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics 103 (2016): 109–117.
  • Price, Dominique N., Nitesh K. Kunda, Amber A. Mcbride, et al. “Vaccine Preparation: Past, Present, and Future.” Drug Delivery Systems for Tuberculosis Prevention and Treatment. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2016. 67–90.
  • Alfagih, Iman et al. “Pulmonary Delivery of Proteins Using Nanocomposite Microcarriers.” Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 104.12 (2015): 4386–4398.
  • Kunda, Nitesh K., Iman M. Alfagih, Sarah Rachel Dennison, Hesham M. Tawfeek, et al. “Bovine Serum Albumin Adsorbed PGA-CO-PDL Nanocarriers for Vaccine Delivery via Dry Powder Inhalation.” Pharmaceutical Research 32.4 (2015): 1341–1353.
  • Kunda, Nitesh K., Iman M. Alfagih, Sarah R. Dennison, Satyanarayana Somavarapu, et al. “Dry Powder Pulmonary Delivery of Cationic PGA-Co-PDL Nanoparticles with Surface Adsorbed Model Protein.” International Journal of Pharmaceutics 492.1–2 (2015): 213–222.
  • Kunda, Nitesh K., Iman M. Alfagih, Imran Y. Saleem, and Gillian A. Hutcheon. “Polymer-Based Delivery Systems for the Pulmonary Delivery of Biopharmaceuticals.” Pulmonary Drug Delivery. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2015. 301–320.
  • Kunda, Nitesh K., Iman M. Alfagih, Eliane N. Miyaji, Douglas B. Figueiredo, et al. “Pulmonary Dry Powder Vaccine of Pneumococcal Antigen Loaded Nanoparticles.” International Journal of Pharmaceutics 495.2 (2015): 903–912.
  • Merchant, Zahra et al. “Engineering Hydrophobically Modified Chitosan for Enhancing the Dispersion of Respirable Microparticles of Levofloxacin.” European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics 88.3 (2014): 816–829.
  • Kunda, Nitesh K., Satyanarayana Somavarapu, Stephen B. Gordon, Gillian A. Hutcheon, et al. “Nanocarriers Targeting Dendritic Cells for Pulmonary Vaccine Delivery.” Pharmaceutical Research 30.2 (2013): 325–341.

Courses Taught:

PHS 3601 Pharmaceutics I
PHS 3603 Pharmaceutics II

Society Memberships:

2012 –                American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences (AAPS)

2017 -                 European Respiratory Society

2012 – 2018       The Aerosol Society

2014 – 2018       Member of Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC)

2013 – 2015       British Society of Nanomedicine

2013 – 2014       European Society of Biomaterials

2012 – 2014       UK & Ireland Controlled Release Society

2013 – 2016       The Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences UK

Issued Patent:

Muttil P, Wafula D, Wu T, Kunda NK, Price DN. “Vaccination Compositions, Methods of Making, and Methods of Use.” US Application Number: US 15/311,298.