Reznik Lab

About the Lab

Professional head shot of Professor Sandra E. Reznik wearing a white top.  Image has a gray background.

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 in vivo 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.


    St. John’s University
    8000 Utopia Parkway
    St. Albert Hall
    Lab: G011, Office: G018-B|
    Queens, NY 11439
    Tel: 718-990-2634

    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.


    • Jagadish Koya, Ph.D. student in pharmacology
    • Zhihui Xiao, Ph.D. student in pharmacology
    • Zenghui Wei, Ph.D. student in pharmacology
    • Yunali Ashar, Ph.D. student in pharmacology
    • Letao Bo, Ph.D. student in pharmacology
    • Rajvee Dave, Ph.D. student in pharmacology
    • Nabeela Fatima Baig, Ph.D. student in pharmacology
    • Kevin S. Jang, Ph.D. student in medicinal chemistry
    • Sarah M. Hewady, PharmD student
    • Dr. Swapna Munnangi, visiting scholar


    • Dr. Kiersten Giusto, Post-doctoral Fellow in Dr. Christine Finck’s Lab, University of Connecticut
    • Dr. Clarence Manuel, Post-doctoral Fellow in Dr. Rebecca Haeusler’s Lab, Columbia University Medical Center
    • Dr. Samir Gorasiya, Senior Scientist at Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD)
    • Dr. Ryan Pekson, Post-doctoral Fellow in Dr. Richard Kitsis’s Lab, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
    • Prathamesh Mahajan, Clinical Evaluation and Product Safety Scientist at L’Oréal
    • Chad Carrig, Ph.D. student at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science
    • Vibhuti Vyas, Research Associate at City of Hope National Medical Center
    • Nisha Panikkaveetil, Technologist at Bode Cellmark Forensics
    • Minxian Dai, Ph.D. student at Rockefeller University
    • Dr. Sruthi Sundaram, Senior Scientist at Velico Medical
    • Dr. Swapna Munnangi, Research Scientist at Nassau University Medical Center (and current Visiting Scholar)
    • Khushboo Abhichandani, Lead Process Consultant at Bristol Myers Squibb
    • Dr. Nicole S. Olgun, Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
    • Wei Wang, Research Coordinator at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
    • Haoting Yen, Associate in Research and Regulatory Affairs at North Shore Hospital
    • Chih-Hung Chen, Research Fellow, Division of Clinical Medical Research, Golden Biotechnology Company, New Taipei City, Taiwan
    • Dr. Neal Shah, M.D./Ph.D. student at West Virginia University School of Medicine
    • Dr. Rajeevi Madankumar, Obs/Gyn attending at North Shore-LIJ Hospital
    • Dr. Jalpa Shah, Obs/Gyn attending at North Shore-LIJ Hospital
    • Dr. Roopali Donepudi, Obs/Gyn attending at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
    • Dr. Juliet Mushi, Obs/Gyn attending at Westchester Medical Center
    • Dr. Sasha Davidson, Maternal fetal medicine specialist at Signature Perinatal Center, Fort Lauderdale, FL