Chapman University’s four-year-old School of Pharmacy continues its aggressive growth in federal grant awards. The School’s faculty—in addition to the grant money some have brought with them from other institutions—have actively submitted proposals for research funding each year, bringing the total awards since the School opened in 2014 to just more than $3.5 million through nearly 30 awards.

The most recent award comes from the National Institute of Health (NIH) for $400,000 to Dr. Kamaljit Kaur for her work in breast cancer. This grant will assist her research in targeting peptides for improved efficacy of current cancer treatment. Dr. Kaur’s award is for three years.

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Dr. Kamaljit Kaur School of Pharmacy

Chemotherapy is the treatment of choice for most cancers including breast cancer. However, it is rarely curative and mostly ineffective due to intolerable toxicities of the chemotherapeutic drugs.  Chemotherapeutic drugs are potent agents that enter healthy tissues in the body with indiscriminate toxicity and do not preferentially accumulate at the tumor (cancer) sites.  One of the most effective strategies to improve the specific uptake of these chemotherapeutic drugs to the cancerous cells in tumors is to use targeting ligands, such as cancer targeting peptides, which bind to specific receptors on cancer cells.

The goal of this research is to develop peptide-drug binder where a chemotherapeutic drug will bind to a breast cancer cell sparing normal noncancerous cells.  This will be effective since it will use a much lower dose than the free drug, reducing the toxic side effects of the chemotherapeutic.  Hence, the physician will not have to reduce the dosage which is often done in the case of high toxicity associated with the chemotherapy.  Finally, the use of optimal dosage will reduce the chances for the development of drug resistance and will improve the quality of life in breast cancer patients. This project’s success will directly impact women’s health and will ultimately increase cancer patient survival.

Dr. Kaur is an Associate Professor in Targeted Drug Delivery and Biomedical Diagnostics at Chapman University School of Pharmacy, as well as the director of Center for Targeted Drug Delivery at Chapman University.

Other grant awards within Chapman’s School of Pharmacy in 2017 are:

Khaled Ahmed ElSaid National Institutes of Health – $210,470

Innokentiy Maslennikov Revolution Medicines, Inc. – $20,424 and Relay Therapeutics, Inc. – $25,000

Rennolds S. Olstrom National Institutes of Health (NIH) – $442,279

Ajay Sharma American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy – $10,000

Rakesh Tiwari Brown University Scaled-up Synthesis of CN2097 $10,000 and Rhode Island Hospital – $12,000

Jennifer Totonchy Department of Health & Human Services, NIH – $249,000

Vuk Uskokovic National Institutes of Health (NIH) $289,483

“We are so proud of the faculty who are the recipients of these awards and of those working hard to win other support,” said Ron Jordan, R.Ph., FAPhA, founding dean, Chapman University’s School of Pharmacy. “Our team brings a tremendous amount of knowledge, passion and scientific expertise for research to Chapman.  These attributes of the School of Pharmacy faculty also improve our teaching. Pharmacists help people live healthier better lives. The application of excellent science to the grand challenges in health are our best hope for the future. Chapman’s commitment to our research engine is also at the heart of our success. We are grateful for that confidence.”

About Chapman University School of Pharmacy
As Orange County’s first school of pharmacy with entry of its first professional degree cohort of students in September of 2015, CUSP empowers graduates and faculty to develop a deep scientific foundation, the drive for lifelong learning, and the compassion to optimize delivery of health care for those with diverse and unmet needs in Orange County and beyond through inter-professional practice models and community outreach. CUSP creates the culture and environment necessary to conduct collaborative basic, translational, clinical education and outcomes research and learning that make a difference in people’s lives.  CUSP intends to become a leader in innovative, inter-professional and personalized education of future pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists and pharmacy educator’s, while being recognized for excellence in collaborative, impactful research, scholarship and practice models that advance global health. The program will deliver the Doctor of Pharmacy degree governed by the ACPE and lead to a license to practice pharmacy as governed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). The school is located in Chapman University’s Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine, CA. For more information, visit

About Chapman University

Consistently ranked among the top universities in the West, Chapman University attracts highly qualified students from around the globe. Its programs are designed to encourage leadership in innovation, creativity and collaboration, and are increasingly recognized for providing an extraordinary educational experience. The university excels in the sciences and humanities, business and economics, educational studies, film and media arts, performing arts, and law. Student enrollment in graduate and undergraduate programs is approaching 8,000 and Chapman University alumni are found throughout the world. Visit us at

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