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Olivia Van Wyck

Student Conducting Preclinical Drug Testing


by Nicole Hackett, Student Public Relations Writer

Cedarville University’s School of Pharmacy and Invirsa Inc. of Columbus have agreed to partner in testing lead compounds for enhancing the innate human immune system. This work may help reduce topical viral infections while supporting the body’s wound healing response.

Olivia Van Wyck, a third-year professional pharmacy student from Jericho, Vermont, will team with Dr. Rocco Rotello, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, on this research initiative. The research data will be used to validate the compound's effect in the preclinical stage so that animal and human testing may ultimately occur.

— Rocco Rotello

This preclinical testing was slated for completion by the end of June. Van Wyck will then present the results to Invirsa. Depending on the initial results, Rotello will continue on the project to further test the compound with another proprietary compound to get to the right mixture and formulation.

“This experience will help Olivia appreciate the preclinical work that goes into bringing a drug to humans,” explained Rotello. “The testing demonstrates all of the upstream discovery work that brings a drug into the market.”

“Cedarville has prepared me very well for this experience,” expressed Van Wyck. “Through my undergraduate biology and chemistry classes, I received great experience in the lab portion of each class. Now, my graduate school learning has given me an understanding of the drug research process and how drugs interact with the body.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,193 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs,including its doctor of pharmacy program, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit