Dr. Keykavous Parang–Professor and Associate Dean of Research, Graduate Studies and Global Affairs in the School of Pharmacy–is especially interested in the areas of medicinal chemistry and drug delivery. “The emphasis of my research lies at the interface between chemistry and biology with specific projects being focused in the fields of organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, nanomedicine, and drug delivery.” He goes on to explanation the intersection between chemistry, biology, and drug delivery: “Our research can be appropriately described as ‘the application of synthetic organic chemistry to problems in biology.’”

Dr. Parang regularly presents his work at both national and international conferences. Recently, he recently presented his work at in Pacifichem 2015 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Like many researchers, Parang finds interaction with colleagues during such professional meetings integral to his own work. “The conference platforms provided me the opportunity to network with other scientists in the field and initiate collaboration. Many of these collaborations provided the opportunity of having a number of students and visitor scientists from other institutions in my laboratory. Furthermore, many of the collaborative work led to publications in peer-reviewed journals.”

In addition to his scholarly pursuits, Dr. Parang is enthusiastic about working with students. As a faculty mentor, he and his students have worked with Chapman University’s Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (OURCA) as part of several programs, including the 291/491/682 coursework and the SURF program. Under his mentorship, Kathy Travakoli (‘16) was awarded a SURF fellowship for her project “Design and Evaluation of Peptides as Drug Delivery Tools.” This project focused, according to Parang, on a “new approach for treatment of diseases such as cancer and HIV in the future.”

Parang encourages students to get involved with the various research and creative opportunities available at Chapman University. “Discovering and being innovative can be one of the most enjoyable moments of the life,” he says. “For a scientist, nothing can be more exciting than to do something that nobody has ever done.  My advice to students is to follow their passion and heart to explore an area of science that make them excited in research.” He also recommends that students get in touch with an “empathic” advisor. “Make sure to find a good mentor to guide and motivate you along the path. Finally, learn to apply your research experience in real life experiences. Having research experience will assist you in the next chapter of your life.” He shares OURCA’s hopes that the curiosity that fuels students’ research and creative interests will lead to amazing, perhaps unexpected, opportunities for years to come.

Interested in getting involved with research and/or creative activity at Chapman University? Visit OURCA’s website for more information about the various programs and grants available to Chapman University undergraduate students.