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Five Ph.D. pharmacy students take home AAPS Best Abstract awards

Mercer College of Pharmacy Ph.D. candidates, from left, Emmanuel Adediran, Sharvari Kshirsagar, Sreelakshmi Nandakumar Menon, Nisha Shrestha and Farzana Zerin

Five Mercer University College of Pharmacy Ph.D. candidates received the 2024 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Best Abstract award, given to the most scientifically impactful posters out of hundreds of submissions across the country.

The awardees are Emmanuel Adediran, Sharvari Kshirsagar, Sreelakshmi Nandakumar Menon, Nisha Shrestha and Farzana Zerin.

AAPS selects the top 10% of submissions from graduate students, postdoctoral candidates, and primary investigators with less than three years of academic or industry experience. Awards are given based on novelty, data-driven conclusions, advancement of the field and how the evaluation strategy suits the project.

“Having five awardees recognized by the AAPS underscores the rigor and innovation of our research in pharmaceutical sciences. These achievements reflect our students’ passion and hard work and highlight our commitment to advancing science and translating these discoveries toward meaningful societal impacts,” said Dr. Nader Moniri, associate dean for research and professor of pharmaceutical sciences.

Adediran’s abstract, “Vaccination Against Influenza Using Fast Acting 3D Printed Oral Dissolving Films as a Delivery System,” was developed in the lab of Dr. Martin D’Souza.

Zerin, whose abstract was titled, “Old Dog Learning a New Trick: Statins as Novel Inhibitors of Vascular PDE1A for Regulating Vasodilation and Blood Pressure,” and Menon, whose abstract was titled, “A Gut Microbiota Metabolite Indole-3 Acetic Acid is a Novel Regulator of Vascular Tone and Inflammation,” worked with Dr. Raquibul Hasan.

Shrestha, with the abstract “Development and Characterization of PLGA Tip-Loaded Polymeric Microneedles for the Sustained, Week-Long Release of a Lipophilic Molecule-Carfilzomib,” and Kshirsagar, with the abstract “Enhanced Skin and Follicular Delivery of Tazarotene from PLGA Nanoparticles for the Treatment of Acne and Psoriasis,” was in collaboration with Dr. Ajay Banga.

The Ph.D. students are now eligible for consideration for the Best Poster Award at October’s PharmSci 360 International Conference.