Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics Program

PhD Students

 

Kabir Ahluwalia


kahluwal@usc.edu |

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science, Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology

Research Interests: Anti-inflammatory, Cell Biology, Cellular Stress, Drug Delivery, Gene Expression, Molecular Biology, Membrane Transport, Protein Chemistry, Regulatory Science, Therapeutic Targets

Research Project or Thesis Title:  Molecular and in vivo dissection as to the therapeutic effects of polarized, retinal pigment epithelium soluble factors

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Stan Louie

Year of Study:  3rd

Awards:  USC Ginsburg Institute for Biomedical Therapeutics Research Student Award (Jul 2019)

Leadership:  USC School of Pharmacy Peer Mentor Program (PMP) (2019-2020); Secretary, AAPS – USC Student Chapter (2018-2019)

 

Alzahra Al Omran


aalomran@usc.edu

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science, Pharm B, King Saud University

Graduate Education:  Master of Science, Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Toledo

Research Interests: Alcohol Addiction, Alzheimer’s Disease, Neurodegeneration, Mental Health

Research Project or Thesis Title:  Investigating the effect of dihydromyricetin on anxiety and cognitive impairment related phenotypes

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Daryl Davies

Year of Study:  2nd

 

Marquerita “Rita” Algorri


algorri@usc.edu |   | Video

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science, Nutrition and Food Science, Drexel University; Bachelor of Arts, English, Drexel University

Research Interests: Antimicrobial Resistance, Bacterial Virulence, Host Immune Response

Research Project or Thesis Title:  Antibiotic immunomodulation in staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infection

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Annie Wong-Beringer

Year of Study:  5th

Awards:  ASM Research Capstone Program Fellowship (2018)

 

John Beckford


jbeckfor@usc.edu

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science, Microbiology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Research Interests: Cancer, Gene Expression, Host Immune Response, Pharmacogenomics

Research Project or Thesis Title:  The effects of DNA hypomethylating agents on t-cells

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Houda Alachkar

Year of Study:  4th

 

Tiange Dong


tiangedo@usc.edu

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science, Biochemistry Honors/Cell, Molecular & Developmental Biology (Double Major), Purdue University

Research Interests: Anti-inflammatory, Cancer, Cell Biology, Drug Development

Research Project or Thesis Title:  Mechanistic investigation of NAP1051 in treating colorectal cancer

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Stan Louie

Year of Study:  4th

 

Mansour Dughbaj


dughbaj@usc.edu

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science, Biological Science, California State University, Fullerton

Research Interests: Cystic Fibrosis, Drug Design, Drug Development, Host Immune Response, Peptide Chemistry, Pharmacology, Therapeutic Development

Research Project or Thesis Title:  Evaluation of engineered cyclotide-based antimicrobial peptides as therapeutic leads for cystic fibrosis

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Paul Beringer

Year of Study:  3rd

Awards:  T90 Research Scholar Trainee Fellowship (2019-2020); Webb Foundation Grant (2018); USC School of Pharmacy Dean’s Fellowship (2017-2019); USC School of Pharmacy Culty Diversity Award (2017-2018)

Leadership:  Treasurer, AAPS – USC Student Chapter (Oct 2019 – Present)

 

Lucas Gutierrez


lkgutier@usc.edu

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine

Graduate Education:  Master of Science, Biological Sciences, California State University, Los Angeles

Research Interests: Cancer, Gene Expression, Host Immune Response, Pharmacogenomics, Regulatory Science

Research Project or Thesis Title:  Investigating the effect of targeted therapy against FLT3 on t cell function and repertoire in patients with FLT3-ITD positive acute myeloid leukemia

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Houda Alachkar

Year of Study:  4th

Awards:  American Society of Hematology Minority Graduate Student Abstract Achievement Award (2017)

 

Zeyang “Rita” Li


zeyangli@usc.edu

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science, Biological Science, University of Southern California

Research Interests: Anti-inflammatory, Cell Biology, Cellular Stress, Toxicology

Research Project or Thesis Title:  Comparing the oxidative and inflammatory damage by ECE and CSE on HCE-2 and ARPE-19 cells

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Stan Louie

Year of Study:  3rd

Leadership:  Vice President, AAPS – USC Student Chapter (2019)

 

Tracey Lin


Traceyl@usc.edu

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science, Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz

Research Interests: Cancer, Cellular Stress, Molecular Biology, PK/PD (pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic), Therapeutic Targets

Research Project or Thesis Title:  Application of C125 to target Notch1 in cancer stem cells population of triple negative breast cancer

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Stan Louie

Year of Study:  4th

 

Andrew Mead


amead@usc.edu

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Arts, Molecular Cell Biology: Immunology, University of California, Berkeley

Research Interests: Anti-inflammatory, Cancer, Drug Delivery, Drug Design, Drug Development, Drug Discovery, Host Immune Response, Peptide Chemistry, Therapeutic Development, Therapeutic Targets

Research Project or Thesis Title:  Small molecule therapy for mitigation of progressive retinitis pigmentosa/oral cyclotide-based therapeutics as a novel drug-delivery modality

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Stan Louie

Year of Study:  3rd

Awards:  USC School of Pharmacy Dean’s Fellowship Award (2017-2019)

 

A young “Jenny” Park


ayoungpa@usc.edu

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Double Major), Chapman University

Graduate Education: Master of Science, Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Southern California

Research Interests: Anti-inflammatory, Computer Modeling, Cystic Fibrosis, PK/PD (pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic)

Research Project or Thesis Title:  Pharmacokinetic-pharmacodyanmics of vitamin D3 in adults with cystic fibrosis

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Paul Beringer

Year of Study:  2nd

Awards:  AFPE Pre-Doctoral Research Fellowship in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Apr 2019)

 

Rachel Reyes


reyesrac@usc.edu

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, University of California, Irvine

Research Interests: Alcohol Addiction, Anti-inflammatory, Host Immune Response, Neurodegeneration, Microbiome

Research Project or Thesis Title:  Manipulation of the gut microbiome to influence alcohol consumption behavior and related immune activity

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Daryl Davies

Year of Study:  5th

Awards:  Best Poster at Cedars-Sinai Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student Symposium (Nov 2017)

 

Joshua Silva


silvajos@usc.edu

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science, Biological Science, California State University, Fullerton

Graduate Education: Master of Science, Biological Science, California State University, Los Angeles

Research Interests: Aging, Alcohol Addiction, Anti-inflammatory, Cell Biology, Cellular Stress, Diabetes, Drug Delivery, Drug Development, Drug Discovery, Molecular Biology, Membrane Transport, Natural Products, Pharmacology, Physiology, Regulatory Science, Therapeutic Devel

Research Project or Thesis Title:  Dihydromyricetin (DHM) reduces alcohol-induced liver injury

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Daryl Davies

Year of Study:  3rd

Awards:  AFPE Pre-Doctoral Fellowship (Apr 2019)

Leadership:  USC STAR (Science, Technology and Research) Program Mentor (May 2019 – May/Jun 2020)

 

Vijaya Pooja Vaikari


vaikari@usc.edu

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science, Biotechnology, Osmania University

Graduate Education: Master of Science, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Southern California; Master of Science, Regulatory Sciences, University of Southern California

Research Interests: Cancer, Gene Expression, Therapeutic Targets

Research Project or Thesis Title:  Role of CD99 in acute myeloid leukemia

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Houda Alachkar

Year of Study:  5th

Awards:  Inspire Award, USC (May 2019); Young Investigator Award, AAPS – Moving Targets (2019); Outstanding Research Assistant, USC (2017, 2019)

Leadership:  Secretary, Pharmacy Graduate Alliance (PGA) (2019-2020); Vice Chair, AAPS – USC Student Chapter (2017); Finance Chair, AAPS – USC Student Chapter (2016)

 

Alicia “Allie” Warnecke


warnecke@usc.edu

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science, Biology, Neuroscience (Double Major), Syracuse University

Research Interests: Aging, Neurodegeneration, Parkinson’s Disease, Pharmacology, Dopamine/ Neurotransmission

Research Project or Thesis Title:  The evaluation of P2X4R positive modulation on dopamine and dopamine metabolism

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Daryl Davies

Year of Study:  4th

Awards:  AFPE Pre-Doctoral Fellowship (2018-2019)

 

Eugene Zhou


eugenezh@usc.edu

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Arts, Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley

Graduate Education:  Master of Science, Management of Drug Development, University of Southern California

Research Interests: Aging, Drug Development, Regulatory Science

Research Project or Thesis Title:  Mechanistic dissection of drusen clearance in macular degeneration using phototherapy

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Stan Louie

Year of Study:  2nd