Graduate students in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (CPHS) conduct groundbreaking research in diverse areas of pharmaceutical research, including biotechnology, drug delivery, medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, and toxicology. The quality of research being undertaken by graduate students is a testament to our efforts to promote academic excellence and a dynamic culture of innovation and discovery.
CPHS offers state-of-the-art research facilities and opportunities to conduct academic research at all levels, including doctoral research; thesis-based master’s research; and independent, study-based research for undergraduate students. The level of training and rigor of our academic research curriculum ensures that students achieve excellence in teaching and research while enhancing their knowledge base—which is key for career success.
Expected Graduation: Ph.D. candidate August 2023Research Focus: Carbohydrate chemistry and electrochemistryFaculty Mentor: Carlos Sanhueza Chavez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
“Bhavesh has extraordinary hands for the experimental work and his performance exceeds expectations. His research centers on synthesizing carbohydrate antigens to generate vaccine candidates against schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease affecting poor and developing countries. Toward this goal, Bhavesh develops synthetic methodologies combining classical carbohydrate chemistry transformations with underexplored chemistries.”—Carlos Sanhueza Chavez, Ph.D.
Expected Graduation: Ph.D. Candidate, Spring 2023Research Focus: Toxicology
Funding by the Women in Science Scholarship Program (Master’s) and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Nicole Montalbano Award for Excellence in Research (Spring 2015)
Clare Boothe Luce Fellowship (Spring 2015)
St. John’s University Women in Science Society Recognition (Spring 2017)
Certificate of Academic Excellence (Spring 2017)
Society of Toxicology Graduate Student Travel Award (Fall 2019)Faculty Mentor: Diane Hardej ’95G, ’03Ph.D.
Amanda has been a real asset to the Hardej Lab. Her important work on the ethylene bisdithiocarbamate pesticide, mancozeb, has led to important mechanistic information on how this agent disrupts mitochondrial function and causes toxicity. Amanda has been a diligent and reliable researcher in my lab who can be counted on for accurate data. Her determination, persistence, and integrity have been an inspiration to us all.
Expected Graduation: Ph.D. candidate August 2022Research Topic: “Layer-by-layer Assembled Particles for Non-invasive Inhaled Therapeutic Delivery to the Lungs”
Funding provided by the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, St. John’s UniversityFaculty Mentor: Vivek Gupta, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
“Gautam is very inquisitive about his research work and has overcome several research hurdles. Apart from research work, he actively contributes to other lab responsibilities, all of which have resulted in constructive growth in his professional competencies.”—Vivek Gupta, Ph.D.
Expected Graduation: Ph.D. candidate May 2022Research Focus: PharmacologyTopic: “Investigation of the differential regulation of translational repressors 4E-BP1 & 4E-BP2 in ER stress”
Funded by the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, St. John’s UniversityFaculty Mentor: Woon-Kai Low, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
“Shruthi has, through her work, provided novel insight into the differences between two proteins often thought to be synonymous with respect to biological action.”—Woon-Kai Low, Ph.D.
Expected Graduation: Ph.D. candidate May 2022Research Focus: We are interested in understanding how proteins called BMP can control sensory neuron development and regulate important cellular processes such as proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis.
Funding provided by the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, St. John’s UniversityFaculty Mentor: Jeanette C. Perron, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
“Sheyda has turned what was a good project into a great project with her inexhaustible energy, relentless curiosity, and consistent scientific approach. I believe her work will have an enormous impact on the BMP field and could lead to the development of a drug with great therapeutic potential.”—Jeanette C. Perron, Ph.D.
Expected Graduation: Ph.D. Candidate, May 2023Research Focus: Pharmacokinetics of Novel Synthetic OpioidsFaculty Mentor: Sue Ford, Ph.D.
Justine has developed a very ambitious research study that sheds light on the tissue distribution of novel synthetic opioids. The ultimate goal is to facilitate the interpretation of drug levels in human tissues for forensic purposes. Justine has the organizational skills to excel in a doctoral program in a demanding science discipline while working full-time. It has been a pleasure to share in her enthusiasm for her project and help her out along the way.
Expected Graduation: Ph.D. Candidate, September 2022
Research Focus: Development of tolvaptan-loaded amorphous solid dispersions using hot melt extrusion
Funding by the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Ketan D. Patel, Ph.D.
Siddhant’s Ph.D. dissertation would be an added piece to the puzzle for solving the never-ending solubility enhancement problem. As we all move to a greener and more organic future, researching naturally occurring surfactants is imperative and a unique opportunity to truly understand how nature can help in therapeutic drug delivery as well.