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UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy on the COVID-19 Frontlines

April 22, 2020

UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy faculty, staff, students and alumni have come together while apart to serve patients in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers and labs are actively pursuing solutions to combat the COVID-19 virus, while students are finding unique ways to connect community members virtually while in isolation, and alumni are directly delivering patient care. Together while apart, the School continues Advancing Medicine for Life. Meet the team:   Thank You! A Thank You message from the UNC One Pharmacy Community to all Carolina Pharmacy Healthcare professionals, Healthcare workers, First Responders, and Essential Employees working hard to keep … Continued

Ainslie receives NIH grant for influenza research

February 4, 2020

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the flu vaccine for the 2018-19 season was only 29 percent effective. Kristy Ainslie, Ph.D., wants to improve that number with the help of a $2.8 million grant. “All of us have been exposed to influenza,” she said. “When it happens to the sick, the young or the old, then it can become lethal.” Ainslie, a professor and vice chair of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s Division of Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics, recently received a prestigious R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health. The grant will support research for a more … Continued

Professor becomes first Russian-American scientist elected to Russian Academy of Sciences

November 27, 2019

Alexander “Sasha” V. Kabanov, Ph.D., Dr.Sc., M.A.E., FNAI, became interested in research at an early age. From his home in Moscow, he marveled at the work of his father, Viktor Kabanov, an award-winning polymer chemist and Chernobyl “liquidator,” whose advances in science and personal work on the contaminated soil helped lead cleanup solutions following the Chernobyl accident. His father donned roles in notable academies around the world, including the Royal Belgian Academy, the European Academy, and the Russian Academy of Sciences. Today, Sasha Kabanov’s scientific achievements mirror those of his father’s, who he credits for his love of science. Most recently, … Continued

Two UNC Ph.D. students are making cancer research accessible through blogging

October 11, 2019

For Sara Musetti and Manisit Das, Ph.D. students in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, their commitment to research doesn’t stop in the lab. Das and Musetti founded OncoBites, a blog that posts summaries of new developments in cancer research. Das said part of the motivation for the blog came from a question he always received – “When will there be a cure for cancer?” OncoBites is meant to explain scientific research in an accessible way and includes information about the complexity of the research process and how long it takes to implement new treatments. Blog posts are crafted by … Continued

Propelling Into Success

August 26, 2019

In 2005, when Dr. Leaf Huang joined UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy as chair of what is now Pharmaco Engineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics, the school wasn’t ranked in the top 10. So, Dr. Huang rolled up his sleeves and got to work. By 2016, the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy had topped the U.S. News & World Report’s rankings at No. 1. “My job was to look for the right professors,” says Huang, a Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor. “I recruited five senior faculty members within my first five years. That kind of gave us the critical mass we needed, and then we began … Continued

The Tools To Change The World

August 1, 2019

Sam Lai, Ph.D., grew up in a privileged setting and thought the best way to show his appreciation was to become a doctor – until it wasn’t. “I’ve always felt that the two pillars in any society are health and education, but during my teenage years I came to realize I didn’t want to be a doctor, but instead someone who provides a doctor with the necessary tools to treat patients,” Lai says. Lai works as an associate professor and director of the Pharmacoengineering Program at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, where he runs the Lai Lab. “I hope … Continued

Eshelman Institute for Innovation awards $3.5 million across 24 research projects

May 29, 2019

On June 1, the Eshelman Institute for Innovation (EII) awarded $3.5 million across 24 projects to support research and education at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. The EII, created in 2014 with a $100 million gift from alumnus and pharmaceutical executive, Fred Eshelman, serves as an engine for innovation within the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Continuing on the previous theme, in this cycle the Institute is funding innovative solutions to address society’s pressing problems in healthcare, such as developing therapeutics for cancer, utilizing 3D approaches to treat osteoporosis, developing artificial intelligence to predict adverse drug events, and implementing … Continued

Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure grants researchers $170,000

May 24, 2019

Goal to develop tumor-homing stem cell beacons for immune-based cancer therapy Shawn Hingtgen, Ph.D., Gianpietro Dotti, Ph.D., and Samir Mitragotri, Ph.D., had an idea – collaborate to create a cell therapy unlike any other to target hard-to-treat cancers. The three researchers from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Harvard University, are utilizing each of their strengths to develop a new approach to cell therapy for brain cancer. Hingtgen said their team is developing a hybrid cell therapy that begins by loading neural stem cells with nanoparticle “backpacks”. When released into the brain, the cells … Continued

Researchers study strategies for using nanotechnology to boost cancer therapeutics

May 2, 2019

University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers presented innovative new strategies for using tiny particles – particles the size of a DNA molecule or the width of a human hair – to boost cancer treatment as part of the Carolina Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence/National Cancer Institute site visit on Tuesday. The researchers, who are members of the Carolina Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence, delivered updates on their latest research into using nanotechnology to potentially improve cancer treatment as part of the day’s agenda of meetings, talks and poster presentations at the Carolina Club. “The Carolina Center for Cancer … Continued

Mucommune Receives Over $3M to Advance Muco-Trapping Antibodies

March 20, 2019

Mucommune LLC has been awarded over $3 million in five separate federal grants over the past several months to advance its muco-trapping antibody technology. The company was launched in 2016 by Sam Lai, Ph.D., an associate professor at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. The muco-trapping antibody technology advanced by Mucommune is based on engineering the Fc region of IgG antibodies to interact with mucins. Tuning the Fc region to combine with mucins enables antibodies to immobilize viral and bacterial pathogens in different mucosal secretions, including respiratory airways, GI tract and female reproductive tract. Once the pathogens are trapped in … Continued