College of Pharmacy

Avedisian Hall, 7 Greenhouse Road Kingston, RI 02881

pharmcol@etal.uri.eduOffice: 401.874.2761 Fax: 401.874.2181

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Research News

Fall Color In-Depth: Maple Trees Offer New Answers to Diabetes, Alzheimer’s

In the 1992 film Medicine Man, biochemist Robert Campbell, played by actor Sean Connery, searches for new drugs in the Amazon’s vast rainforests. There Campbell finds a cure for cancer not in the rainforest’s rare flowers – which don’t have “juju,” or the power to heal – but in an indigenous ant species.

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Private Support Advances Research on Medicinal Properties of Maple Trees

While the maple tree is known for delicious syrup, researchers at URI have discovered that maple trees provide much more than a way to make breakfast taste better. In its branches, leaves, and sap, maple species, including Rhode Island’s state tree, the red maple, may be the key to regulating blood glucose levels in humans. Thanks to $110,000 in funding from Verdure Sciences, this important research will continue.

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URI professor receives grant to research cause of kidney transplant failures

KINGSTON, R.I., September 14, 2017 — Nisannne Ghonem, assistant professor at the University of Rhode Island’s College of Pharmacy, is a recipient of the 2017 Mentored Research Awards from Advance-CTR, a federally funded statewide effort to support clinical research that can be translated into approaches and policies to improve the health of Rhode Islanders.

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Bingfang Yan

URI Big Thinker: Professor Bingfang Yan

Bingfang Yan, professor of biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences, has made his reputation identifying adverse reactions among prescription medications. His studies often examine drugs that hit the marketplace as much-needed therapeutic breakthroughs and their interactions with medications typically prescribed along with them.

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Jessica Goren

Studies by Pharmacy Professor offer hope to patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia

Patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia are not only tormented by their disease, but often receive ineffective treatment. Clozapine, the only effective treatment, is often a last resort because it has unique side effects and risks.

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Product of pomegranate juice, extract promotes pathway to brain health

Pomegranates and other “superfoods” are known to have positive effects on the brain—improving functions such as memory and cognition. Now Associate Professor Navindra Seeram and a team of researchers have discovered it may not be the superfoods—rather the way these foodstuffs interact with the body’s microflora during gut microbial metabolism that could lead to breakthroughs in protecting against Alzheimer’s.

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Professor Kogut Using Big Data in Health Care Research

Big Data is essential in research and education at URI today. At the College of Pharmacy, Professor Stephen Kogut is using big data from private health insurers and the state’s Medicaid systems to analyze diseases in populations, cost, medication use and hospitalizations. For Rhode Island Medicaid, Kogut and his team analyzed more than 2 million pharmacy dispensing records to try ascertain medication patterns for those with depression to see who might be continuing treatment as recommended.

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Making new connections: Pharmacy meets Political Science.

Political science isn’t the field that comes to mind when considering how to address vaccine hesitancy in adult minorities. For Professor Kerry LaPlante, however, the connection is clear. She is currently at work with URI Political Science Professor and Chair Brian Krueger and Associate Professor Marc Hutchison on a $606,173 research grant to develop science-based messaging to improve pneumococcal vaccination rates in black and Hispanic/Latino populations.

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Navindra Seeram and student

East meets West in Global Approach to Pharmacy Research

East and West have always converged in the Bioactive Botanical Research Lab of Pharmacy Professor Navindra Seeram. But a new gift with roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine has brought these culturally different approaches to treating disease and pain even closer.

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Dr. Chen demonstrating the drug delivery patch

Pharmacy researcher developing nicotine vaccine, novel drug delivery

Xinyuan Chen, assistant professor of biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences, is developing a nicotine vaccine and accompanying drug delivery system that he believes could lead to one of the most effective methods of combating cigarette smoking and other tobacco use. He joined the College of Pharmacy after seven years at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, bringing with him a $1.08 million career development grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse and a $432,000 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

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