Protein Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, Toxicology, Systems Biology, Pharmacogenomics, Biocuration, Proteomics, and Toxicology.
The Reznik laboratory is focused on inflammation-driven preterm birth. A few years ago, we made the fortuitous discovery that a commonly used drug excipient, N,N-dimethylacetamide (DMA), prevents endotoxin-induced preterm birth in our murine model. Further investigation has revealed that this compound is an unrecognized cytokine suppressive anti-inflammatory drug that inhibits nuclear factor kappa B. As the toxicokinetics of this widely used compound have already been well documented, including safety data related to its use during pregnancy, this molecule has now been recognized as an excellent candidate for clinical trials to prevent preterm birth. While the lab remains focused on preterm birth, we recognize that DMA, an NF-kappa B inhibiting small molecule that can cross the blood brain barrier, may have broad clinical impact. Preliminary testing has shown promising results in in vitro models of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), rheumatoid arthritis and neuroinflammation, as well as in an d models of IBD.
Most recently the research program has expanded to embrace the investigation of environmental and dietary factors that lead to the inflammatory signature that triggers spontaneous preterm birth. In a very exciting new line of investigation, we have shown that immune tolerance established by repetitive exposure to subclinical doses of lipopolysaccharide reverses the lipotoxic effects of a high fat diet, including gut dysbiosis, and protects mice from preterm birth. Funding has recently been obtained to test Broncho-Vaxom, a clinically approved therapy, for its ability to reverse high fat diet induced gut dysbiosis and immune dysregulation.
We are investigating several potential clinical applications of DMA in in vitro and in vivo models, including inflammation-induced cervical ripening, systemic inflammatory response syndrome and neuroinflammation. In addition, we are testing an analog of DMA, N,N-diethylacetamide, for its potential to prevent preterm birth and suppress inflammatory bowel disease. We are also elucidating the effect of a maternal high fat diet on placental ABC transporters. Finally, we are investigating the effects of Broncho-Vaxom on high fat diet induced metabolic dysfunction, gut dysbiosis and immune dysregulation.
Dr. Chim's research interests include chronic disease state management, pharmacist-run home visits, interprofessional education, preventative health services, social determinants of health, and caring for the underserved. She is a 2017-2020 Fellow of the Clinical Scholars national leadership program supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Serve as a faculty mentor to several students conducting Medication-Use Evaluations (MUEs), a method used to identify areas of the medication-use process that may be in need of improvement. This performance improvement process ultimately optimizes patient outcomes and medication safety in our Health-Systems.
Dr. Kunda’s current research interests include the use of nanotechnology in developing therapeutics against infectious disease and cancer, using targeting moieties for site-specific delivery, amorphous solid dispersions, microneedle-based drug delivery, antimicrobial peptide-based therapeutics, 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.
Environmental and developmental neurotoxicants and their relationship to neurodegeneration; Cell injury and alterations in cellular antioxidant defense mechanisms are studied; Electron microscopy
In vitro and in vivo toxicity and mechanisms of toxicity of metal containing pesticides in the gastrointestinal system as well as neurotoxicity of these agents. In vivo and in vitro neurotoxicity and mechanisms of toxicity of environmental perflournated substances (PFAs)