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Faculty Profiles

Bill Neumann

Dr. Bill Neumann
Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences


Dr. Bill Neumann of the SIUE School of Pharmacy is quite at home in his laboratory located in University Park, studying pain—how it manifests as acute pain and develops over time into chronic pain. Through a nearly $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, he has worked collaboratively with the Saint Louis University Department of Pharmacology and Physiology to promote better living through chemistry.

The NIH grant is specifically administered through the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Neumann’s research team in University Park consists of individuals specializing in medicinal chemistry, organic chemistry, chemical biology and bioinorganic chemistry research. These researchers work together to design and synthesize new probes that can potentially lead to new drug candidates to address chronic pain management.

“The broad potential therapeutic use of these new analgesic agents we’re proposing is not a part of current pain management drugs,” he said. “Our team will draw upon previous breakthroughs in the development of free radical targeted therapies but we will go further in creating a new approach to combat the problem without some of the current side effects of current pain management drugs.”

Learn more about Dr. Neumann’s research.


 Radhika Devraj

Dr. Radhika Devraj
Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

The National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) found that 36 percent of the U.S. population has limited health literacy. That means that more than 80 million adults may have trouble reading or understanding pertinent health care information.

Dr. Radhika Devraj, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, is dedicated to helping the health care community understand this issue through her research. In addition, she also teaches pharmacy students about the importance of health literacy with hope that they will help to overcome the negative effect it has on the health and safety of millions of Americans.  Recently, Devraj has conducted research exploring the role of health literacy in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients.

“Although health literacy has gained attention as a public health issue, it has not been closely studied with regard to CKD,” said Devraj. “Patient’s self-management behaviors with diet, exercise, fluid intake and medication adherence are so important to prevent progression of CKD. This research will help us understand the connection between health literacy, patient knowledge of self-management behaviors and clinical outcomes of kidney disease (eGFR).”


 Marcelo Nieto

Dr. Marcelo Nieto
Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Dr. Marcelo Nieto, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, has dedicated his research efforts to the synthesis, purification and identification of novel anti-infective agents. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 70 percent of hospital-acquired infections are now resistant to commonly used drugs. The threat of this issue is intensified by the steady decline in the number of new FDA-approved antibiotics on the market.

This research is critical for the future of public health and the treatment of disease. Nieto also sees it as an important experience for the pharmacy students who have been involved.

“I think that this kind of project gives students a lot of respect for the drugs that they are going to be dispensing,” said Nieto. “The ultimate goal is to develop an effective drug for the treatment of bacterial infections. We are looking at the structural qualities of existing agents and creating a library of this information to be used in the development of new drugs. Students are able to see first-hand that developing new drugs is difficult and that it takes time.”

 


Scott BergmanDr. Scott Bergman
Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice

Dr. Scott Bergman, associate professor of pharmacy practice, had a specific objective in mind to advance the pharmacy education of infectious diseases at SIUE: establish a post-graduate year two (PGY2) pharmacy residency. In the spring of 2012, Bergman's goal was realized when he became the program director for the Infectious Diseases Pharmacotherapy Residency at St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Ill.

Through the assistance of a grant from the Society of Infectious Disease Pharmacists, Bergman designed the PGY2 residency to build upon the competencies developed by a post-graduate year one (PGY1) pharmacy residency. This PGY2 residency, completed in one year, provides a structured education and training experience for pharmacists looking to develop additional clinical expertise in infectious disease pharmacotherapy. Students are immersed in a progressive clinical environment where there is substantial opportunity for direct patient care and consultation.

"The Pharm.D. curriculum is a great introduction to infectious disease and prepares students to perform the basics," Bergman said. "Residencies take the students to a more advanced level. In the PGY2, we will focus on critical thinking. Not only are the students asked to report what they see, but they are asked to interpret and analyze so they are able to customize recommendations for specific patients.

"Residents and I will go on patient care rounds with the infectious disease physicians and recommend doses and durations of antibiotics, monitor for side effects, and check for drug interactions. We see patients with the most difficult to treat infections.

It's a rewarding opportunity for students to work with multidisciplinary teams and be a part of the prescribing process."

Upon completion of the specialty PGY2 residency program, the residents will possess the knowledge and skills to function as independent clinical practitioners and members of a multidisciplinary team to provide patient-centered care for patients with infectious diseases and to improve the utilization of antimicrobial stewardship, or the appropriate use of antibiotics and prescribing practices toward evidence-based choices. The dual focus of the program on infectious diseases and teaching will prepare residents to become effective educators of pharmacotherapeutic topics in the practice area of infectious diseases in the clinical and academic setting.

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