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Release Date: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 1:29 PM
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Media Contact:
Derrick Haynes
Communications Officer
College of Pharmacy
College of Pharmacy Professor Receives Prestigious Research Award
Pradeep K. Karla

WASHINGTON - College of Pharmacy Professor Pradeep K. Karla, Ph.D., has been awarded the prestigious New Investigator’s Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) to do research on a process to better treat people suffering from eye diseases.

Karla, who joined the college in 2009, is one of 18 award recipients.  Participants are investigating topics as diverse as medication self-management, treatment for cocaine addiction and withdrawal and the impact of Medicare payment cuts on the patients’ treatment choices and the resulting outcomes.

Vincent Lau, Ph.D., vice president of research and graduate education at AACP, said the program provides seed money for new faculty investigators to establish their first independent pilot research project.

"We believe that each of the award-winning projects has great potential to inform pharmacy science and improve healthcare," Lau said.

Karla's research, entitled Modulation of MRP Drug Efflux for Improved Ocular Drug, concentrates on improving the effectiveness of eye medications delivered through drops.  The efficiency of eye drop medication, such as those used to treat glaucoma, are reduced because of a multi-drug resistant protein that activates a pump in the eye that sucks away the liquid.

In glaucoma cases, this prevents the drops from staying on the eye long enough to penetrate the cornea.  Consequently, the medication is less effective in the prevention of blindness and other eye-related illnesses.

A drug efflux pump inhibitor will permit the drops to stay on the surface of the eye longer and better penetrate the cornea, making the medication much moreeffective. .

“I’m quite excited,” Karla said.  “The award is going to give us a scope and offer us resources to explore.  We hope the conclusions that we draw from this research proposal will help the scientific community develop potent drug treatment strategies for eye diseases.”

Other award recipients are:  

  • Mamoun M. Alhamadsheh, University of the Pacific,
  • Benjamin E. Blass, Temple University
  • Kelly E. Caudle, University of Cincinnati
  • Teresa M. Cavanaugh, University of Cincinnati
  • Julianne M. Hall, Campbell University
  • Rahul Khanna, The University of Mississippi
  • Sean King, Union University
  • Andrea L. Kjos, Drake University
  • Benedict (Shek Hang) Law, North Dakota State University
  • Emily Martin, Wayne State University
  • Susan L. Mercer, Lipscomb University
  • Xiaoyun (Lucy) Pan, West Virginia University
  • Alejandro Pino‐Figueroa, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences‐Boston
  • A. Mary Vilay, The University of New Mexico
  • Ruth L. Vinall, California Northstate University
  • Ashley Woodruff, St. John Fisher College
  • Peisheng Xu, South Carolina College of Pharmacy

The College of Pharmacy’s mission is to provide pharmaceutical education of excellent quality to students with high academic, scholarship and leadership potential, with particular emphasis upon the recruitment, retention and graduation of African-American and other ethnically diverse minority students. The primary goals of the college are to recruit, train and educate qualified African-American and other ethnically diverse minority students to assume leadership roles in pharmacy; to produce skilled pharmaceutical care practitioners, proficient pharmaceutical scientists and competent educators to meet the challenges of the profession and society; to recruit and retain faculty dedicated to teach and mentor students, conduct research and pursue other scholarly activities, and to provide postgraduate and continuing professional education and community services that will enhance the quality of pharmaceutical care.


Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 24 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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