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Pharmaceutics Grad Student Earns Pre-doctoral Fellowship

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Nicole Nelson, a graduate student in the Division of Pharmaceutics, is one of two graduate students nationally to receive a pre-doctoral fellowship from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Foundation. The foundation will support her research with $20,000 annually for two years.

Working in the lab of Dr. Robert O. Williams, Nelson studies the use of nano-sized immunosuppressant drugs that are administered through an aerosolized method to treat asthma. The disease affects an estimated 300 million people worldwide. Inhaled corticosteroids are the most effective treatment currently available; however, significant side effects can occur from long-term use.

Nelson works to build upon earlier investigations concerning the use of nanoparticulate forms of immunophilin binding compounds.

"I propose to use formulation design and nanoparticle engineering techniques to develop a low dose, inhaled composition that is site specific, safe, and effective for the treatment of asthma," she said, adding that "the ultimate goal is to enable the use of these immunophilin binding compounds for a new indication and a new patient population: pulmonary delivery of nanostructured immunophilin binding compounds as a first line therapy for asthmatics."

PhRMA Foundation has sponsored pre-doctoral fellowships in pharmaceutics for 19 years. It assists awardees with one or two years remaining in their pharmaceutics pre-doctoral training--the time during which they are engaged in dissertation research.

Last Reviewed: January 26, 2009

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