Protecting Lives Through Pharmacy Research

School of Pharmacy

Photo credit: Scott L. Huck / Cedarville University

by Public Relations

July 27, 2011

Senior Rebecca Widder’s goal for the summer was to gain some exposure to research in pharmaceutical sciences. She knew she wanted to go to pharmacy school but was unsure whether to pursue pharmacy practice (patient care focus) or pharmaceutical science (drug research focus). So when she was offered a summer research assistant position with Dr. Elisha Injeti, the Director of Research and Development for the Cedarville University School of Pharmacy, she was excited to give it a try.

Injeti, who earned a Ph.D. in pharmacology, champions the research initiatives for the School. Because of his background in pharmacy, Injeti is developing research initiatives that bridge the gap between pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy practice. This involves collaborating with other universities and hospitals, as well as biomedical companies. As a result of these initiatives over the past year, the School of Pharmacy has developed a few collaborative research projects with the Future Path Medical Holding Company LLC, a biomedical manufacturing company started by Cedarville alumnus Ty Bryant ’64.

Bryant’s son Christopher became a quadriplegic in a diving accident in 1997. As a result of this tragedy, Bryant and his wife became full time care providers for Christopher. A few years later in 2005, Christopher died because of an infection caused by poor monitoring of urine bag while in the hospital. Knowing that his son’s death could have been avoided if smarter technology had been employed to track urine levels in the collection bag, Ty resolved to find a solution that could enhance and save lives in the future.

As a result, Bryant and his company developed the iBag for use with an at-home caregiver. Using contemporary wireless technology, this urine bag is equipped with a sensor that reads the percentage-fill level of the urine bag. This data is then sent to a computer, enabling a caregiver to review it and then empty the bag when necessary. This product recently achieved 510(K) approval from the FDA and is scheduled this fall for user trials at Dodd Hall of The Ohio State University.

During this product development, Injeti has established collaborative research projects with Bryant’s company to evaluate the accuracy of this sensor under different pathophysiological conditions. The school has already acquired the necessary research equipment and laboratory space to conduct these studies. In addition, the research focus of the school also opened doors for students like Widder and senior chemistry major, Heather Clark, to work on these research projects. As a result, Widder and Clark both had the opportunity to meet the scientists from Future Path and actually conduct research that can protect the lives of patients.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,200 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.

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