Faculty Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences

Simeon K. Adesina


Associate Professor of Pharmaceutics  
Email: simeon.adesina@howard.edu 
Education and Training: •  B. Pharm. (Distinction), Pharmacy, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria • M. Sc., Pharmaceutics, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria •  Ph.D., Pharmaceutics, Howard University   Research Interests: The focus of research in my laboratory include the use of nanotechnology for drug delivery applications (with bias for cancers and HIV), design and development of stimuli-sensitive polymers for fabrication of drug delivery systems, design and development of targeted delivery systems via synthesis and development of drug-ligand conjugates and the development of polymer-drug conjugates. I am interested in concurrent and sequential active targeting to tumors to achieve improved therapeutic efficacy and reduction in side-effects. Currently, my laboratory is involved in projects involving gliomas, prostate, ovarian and pancreatic cancers. 

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Emmanuel O. Akala


Professor of Pharmaceutics  
Email: eakala@howard.edu Website: http://pharmacy.howard.edu

Education and Training:

•  B. Pharm. (Hons) 1980, University of Ife, Nigeria

•  M.Sc. 1983, Pharmaceutics, University of Ife, Nigeria

•  Ph.D. 1986, Pharmaceutics (Commonwealth Scholar), The University of Manchester, England.

•  DAAD Research Fellow, 1993, Institute of Biopharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology, University of Münster, Germany

•  Research Associate 1994 -1997, NIH Fogarty International Center, University of Utah (Kopecek Group)

Areas of Research Endeavors:

•  Targetable nanotechnology platforms for the treatment of cancer and HIV/AIDS

•  Application of statistical experimental design, quality by design (QbD), computer  optimization, and process analytical technology in pharmaceutical dosage forms design

•  Pediatric drug formulation and development

•  Controlled drug delivery systems for the treatment of alcoholism

•  Polymeric hydrogels for drug delivery. 

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Muhammad J Habib


Associate Dean and Professor of Pharmaceutics 

Email: mhabib@howard.edu

Education & Training:

• MS, 1982 University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

• Ph.D., 1987 University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

• Post-Doctoral Training, 1987-1988, Florida A&M University, Florida

Research Interests:

Currently, I am not directly pursuing research due to my administrative role as Associate Dean. However, one of my previous research was in liposomal drug delivery. My research lab successfully developed a liposomal formulation of Tenofovir. The work focused on the investigations into some of the physicochemical properties including encapsulation efficiency (EEF), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), particles size, zeta potential, conductivity, percentage released, and turbidity.  Formulations were evaluated for compatibility using Fourier Transform Infrared Reflectance-Attenuation, Differential Scanning Calorimetry, and X-Ray Diffraction.  Formulation factors affecting the overall liposomal formulation were screened using a Plackett-Burman design of experiments.  The optimized formulation was obtained using the desirability function of a Central Composite design for maximum entrapment efficiency, zeta potential, conductivity, while minimizing particle size, percentage release and turbidity. Mathematical relationships were projected in the optimization design to show the affect that variation in each independent variable has on each response.  Lastly, the permeability of the optimized formulation was tested using caco-2 epithelial cell permeability.  The permeability showed extensive improvement when compared to the conventional tenofovir drug solution.  In conclusion, the outcome of this research provided insight into the intricate details of liposomal drug delivery encapsulating a hydrophilic drug, tenofovir, for the treatment of HIV/AIDS.  Further research interests include the enhancement of dissolution of poorly water-soluble drugs using solid dispersion technology and use of polymer in drug delivery.

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Pradeep K. Karla


Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Email: pkarla@howard.edu

Website: http://www.cetla.howard.edu/featured_teacher/archive/karla.html 
Education and Training: 
•  B.S., Pharmacy, Nagarjuna University, India

•  Ph.D., Pharmaceutics, University of Missouri-Kansas City, USA

• NIH KL2 Research Scholar  

• LEAD Program (In Progress), Stanford University, USA  
Research Interests: 
• Dr. Karla’s research involves the identification of new drug efflux transporters on human ocular tissue and human immune CD4 T-Cells. Dr. Karla’s research has demonstrated for the first time that these transporters play a vital role in decreased bioavailability of drugs employed in chronic disease states such as glaucoma and HIV. As a Principal Investigator (PI), Dr. Karla received the highly competitive AACP New Investigator Grant, NIH funded KL2 Grant, BRIDGE Research Innovation Grant and others.

• Apart from research, Dr. Karla is interested in implementing new technologies to promote active learning in the classroom. Dr. Karla's research in teaching method development involves integrating the tablet touch interface of faculty, and student tablet PC's via the Wi-Fi network to create a real-time interactive platform. Dr. Karla was the recipient of the “Teaching with Technology Award” from the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Assessment (CETLA). 

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Amol Kulkarni


Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry  
Email: amol.kulkarni@howard.edu

Website: http://pharmweb.howard.edu/akulkarni.html

Education and Training:

• B. Pharm. Sci., Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Mumbai

• Ph.D., Chemistry, The State University of New York at Buffalo

• Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Houston

• Associate Director, Combinatorial Chemistry Center, University of Pittsburgh

Research Interests:

The research in my lab is focused on the development of rationally designed novel medicinal agents in immunology and virology.  Development of NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors: Aberrant activation of the innate immune system forms the pathophysiological basis of a variety of disorders, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, life-threatening pathogenic infections, and sickle cell disease. NLRP3 inflammasome is a key component of the innate immune system, and has emerged as a druggable target for the treatment of neurocognitive, neuropsychiatric, and other immuneassociated disease states. Guided by computational chemistry, we are developing novel, natural product-inspired platforms with NLRP3 inhibitory activity. Our compounds have shown good in vitro activity against inflammation triggered by a potential bioterror agent, Fracisella tularensis and against LPS-induced neuroinflammation in vitro and in vivo. Current research is focused on pharmacophore refinement leading to analogues with improved activity and penetration into the blood-brain barrier.  Development of antiviral compounds: Our research is focused on the development of small molecule inhibitors of Ebola and Marburg virus. Particularly, we are designing inhibitors of protein phosphatase 1, a host enzyme critical for viral replication. Using a combination of computational and classical drug design approaches, we have developed a library of compounds with good antiviral activity, plasma stability, and low toxicity.  Therapeutics targeting HIV-comorbidities and cure: HIV-protein Nef plays a critical role in HIV pathogenicity and co-morbidities, such as, dyslipidemia and neurocognitive dysfunction. Nef binds to endoplasmic reticulum chaperone, calnexin. Our research is focused on the development of compounds that disrupt the Nef-calnexin interaction. These agents suppressed HIV-replication in vitro. Current studies are focused on screening the application of our compounds in HIV comorbidities in vivo. 

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Krishna Kumar


Professor of Biopharmaceutics & Pharmacokinetics  
Email: kkumar@howard.edu

Website: https://profiles.howard.edu/profile/191/krishna-kumar

Education and Training:

•  B.Pharm., Pharmacy, Banaras Hindu University, India

• M. Pharm. Pharmacy,  Banaras Hindu University, India

•  Ph.D., Pharmacokinetics, University of Otago, New Zealand

• Post-doctoral training, University of Melbourne, Australia Research Interests: Interests include Energy expenditure and protein decoupling, characterization of biomarkers and developing epigenetic profile of African Americans as related to hypertension, cancer and other chronic diseases, formulation of dosage forms, and population Pharmacokinetic modeling. 

Howard University Profile

Indiran Pather

Chair and Professor: Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Email: indiran.pather@howard.edu

Website: https://profiles.howard.edu/sites/profiles.howard.edu/files/CV%20.pdf

Education and Training:

•  B. Pharm., University of Durban-Westville, South Africa

•  M. Pharm., Pharmaceutics, University of the Western Cape, South Africa

• D. Pharm., Pharmaceutics, University of the Western Cape, South Africa (research performed at University of Missouri – Kansas City and Marion Merrill-Dow Company)  


Research Interests:

1. Novel Sunscreen Agents. There is evidence that several currently used sunscreen agents absorb UV light and, in the excited state, may be carcinogenic. Further, each agent (and even combinations of agents) may not cover the required UVA and UVB ranges. Recent evidence that the substances are absorbed into the bloodstream, when used in the correct amounts, has led to additional concerns. Previous work from my lab demonstrated that a natural substance covered the entire required range of UVA and UVB. Furthermore, the substance did not form high energy compounds that are deleterious to human health. My present work is on a series of compounds that are chemically modified from the natural substance and afford greater stability. 2. Buccal and Sublingual Drug Delivery. Delivery of drugs through the mucosa of the oral cavity has been an area of interest for several years. Two products, Fentora® (for breakthrough cancer pain) and Intermezzo® (for middle-of-the-night insomnia, recognized by the FDA as a new indication) resulted from my work in industry. I have served as a consultant to companies developing oral mucosal, and other, products. 3. Cosmetics Development. My current work is on the development of suitable formulations for the sunscreen agent, with emphasis on the development of products for use on dark skin. Currently available products leave a white residue and are unsuitable for daily use. Some pathological conditions require daily use of sunscreens (including to work). 4. Entrepreneurial Interests. Three Close Corporations (CCs similar to LLCs) were started out of my previous academic research: Stylish Products (Cosmetics), Dentapharm Manufacturers (dental products), and Edelweiss Pharmaceuticals (OTC products and contract manufacturing)

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Simon Wang

Simon Wang

Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry 
Email: xiang.wang@howard.edu

Website: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Xiang_Wang36

Education and Training:

•  B.S., Pharmacy, Peking University  

•  Ph.D., Computational Chemistry, University of Florida  

Research Interests:

computer-aided drug design (CADD), AI in drug discovery 

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