School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences to host workshop on Approaches in Drug Discovery and Delivery Research

By Edith Amuhaya and Calvin Omolo
The School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences will host a half-day virtual workshop to highlight approaches taken by different researchers, in developing drugs and delivery systems in combating microbial infections. The workshop is scheduled to take place on Thursday, March 31, 2022.

Two of the presenters, Dr. Calvin Omolo, Chair of the Pharmaceutics and Pharmacy Practice Department at the School of Pharmacy and Dr. Edith Amuhaya, Assistant Professor, Organic Chemistry, will showcase their findings in research funded by the USIU-Africa’s internal grant.

Dr. Omolo’s research title is ‘Development of Novel Stimuli Responsive Drug Delivery Systems for Targeted Delivery of Antibiotics’. In his study he designed and prepared peptides, gels and nanoparticles for use as delivery agents for enhanced healing of infected wounds as well as in treatment of resistant bacterial infections. Dr. Amuhaya’s research title is ‘Development of Photoactive Materials for Water Decontamination’. In her study, she designed and prepared molecules capable treating resistant bacteria that are found in water. Both Dr. Omolo and Dr. Amuhaya’s research focus on combating resistant microbes due to the recent increase in ‘superbug’ infections globally.

Besides the research outputs realized, the two projects have seen training of both undergraduate and graduate students in various lab based skills. The work has also produced one peer-reviewed article titled, ‘Photodynamic Antimicrobial Chemotherapy: Advancements in Porphyrin-Based Photosensitizer Development’ (2021).

The workshop will also feature two other researchers, Dr. Clare Muhanji and Dr. Lucy Kiruri, from the Technical University of Kenya and Kenyatta University, respectively. The two researchers will highlight approaches they used to develop new drug templates for anti-retroviral and coronavirus diseases.

The workshop is expected to attract the general public with an interest in development of antimicrobials, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as researchers in related fields.

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