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Pharmacy Faculty Selected for Prestigious Research Grant

March 1, 2018

Dr. Lipika Chablani, an assistant professor in the Wegmans School of Pharmacy at St. John Fisher College, was selected for the New Investigator Award, given by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).

Lipika Chablani

The award provides early-career pharmacy faculty with $10,000 in start-up funding for independent research projects. Of the 16 awards this year, Chablani was one of only two selected in the research area of pharmaceutics.

The award will fund research that is defining the immune response generated towards a breast cancer vaccine, building on nine years of research that began while Chablani was a doctoral student at Mercer University in Atlanta, Georgia. While at Mercer, she worked on the development of a vaccine that could be used to prevent breast cancer, conducting several studies to formulate and improve the vaccine’s delivery and effectiveness.

Upon graduating in 2012, Chablani joined the faculty at Fisher, launching an active research laboratory focused on drug delivery systems, vaccines, and cancer immunology. That research included the preventative breast cancer vaccine, where she sought to further understand how it protected against malignancy and what immune responses it was generating. With the New Investigator Award, Chablani intends to uncover the mechanism by which tumor vaccines lead to immunity to breast cancer.

“I’m proud to be one of the awardees of this prestigious national grant,” said Chablani. “It is very exciting to secure a grant of this nature and to be able to continue to contribute to nanotechnology and oncology-based pharmaceutical research.”

Dr. Todd Camenisch, chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, applauded Chablani for her work.

“Dr. Chablani is pioneering technology to improve the lives of cancer patients. The award by AACP demonstrates the confidence in her research program to ultimately leverage the immune system of a patient to fight cancer,” he said.

In addition to a doctoral degree from Mercer, Chablani holds a bachelor’s degree from Mumbai University and a master’s degree from Campbell University’s School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. She has published research in several peer-reviewed journals and is an active member of AACP and the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, among other organizations.