» Guest Researchers

photo of Hanieh Ariani
Hanieh Ariani
Postdoctoral Fellow
Rinker Health Science Campus
(714) 516-5461
Hanieh joined Chapman University School of Pharmacy as a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Prof. Kaur in March 2016. She graduated from Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Biophysics and Biochemistry (IBB). She worked on synthetic peptides hydrolysable by toxic metals.
She is a biochemist that uses chemical synthesis to produce bioactive peptides. Along with chemical synthesis she did structural studies of peptides alone or with metal complexes. Moreover she is interested in in-vivo studies.
She has an experience in synthesizing antibacterial peptides and their characterization. She had opportunity to work with various fields of basic sciences ranging from biology to chemistry as she got her major in biology and moved to biophysics and biochemistry fields in master and PhD.
Her current study focuses on engineering peptides for therapeutic purposes.
photo of Chunmei Cheng
Chunmei Cheng
Senior Research Associate
Rinker Health Science Campus
(714) 516-5443
Research Interests The immunotherapy is extremely attractive to clinic physicians as well as to the patients who are suffering from incurable cancers and autoimmune diseases due to its specific targeting and less side affects. The pathogenesis and immunogenesis are the fundamental accesses to address the targets for the specific immunotherapy. My research interests are the pathogenesis and immunogenesis of various cancers and autoimmune related diseases, and the design and development of immunotherapeutics for those resistant to the conventional treatments. Both in vitro and in vivo models are the substantial approaches in my studies
photo of Barent DuBois
Barent DuBois
Postdoctoral Fellow
Rinker Health Science Campus
(714) 516-5453
Dr. Barent DuBois joined the Chapman University School of Pharmacy as a Postdoctoral Fellow in July 2015 after submitting his PhD dissertation in pharmaceutical sciences at Oregon State University, where he worked at the OSU College of Pharmacy campus at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon. He has been studying how the maternal and intrauterine environment affects fetal development, altering the anatomical, physiological and epigenetic substrate on which an individual’s pharmacokinetic (PK) phenotype is expressed throughout the lifespan.
Dr. DuBois is a pharmacokineticist with a background in clinical and translational medical research, utilizing animal and human models of obesity, intrauterine growth restriction, and pregnancy. His graduate training involved bioanalysis with HPLC and tandem mass spectrometry, in vitro assays for drug metabolism and drug transport, and pharmacokinetic analysis utilizing non-compartmental, modeling and simulation, non-linear mixed effects. He is interested in how physiological and mechanism based models of pharmacokinetics can be used to identify the degree of risk and mechanisms for adverse drug events in disease, particularly non-communicable chronic diseases.
Currently Dr. DuBois works with Dr. Reza Mehvar studying blood-brain barrier permeability in cirrhosis and acute liver failure, and how liver diseases alter pharmacokinetics.
photo of Walid Elkhatib
Walid Elkhatib
Research Associate
(714) 516-5439
Dr. Walid Elkhatib is Associate Professor and former Head of Microbiology and Immunology Department at Faculty of Pharmacy, Ain-Shams University, Cairo, Egypt. He is currently an Academic Professional at the School of Pharmacy, Chapman University. His primary areas of research interest are biofilm associated infections and pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic modeling of antimicrobials. For the last eight years, Dr. Elkhatib has lead many interdisciplinary collaborative research projects in multiple institutions including Ain-Shams University (ASU), Hampton University (HU), Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS), Christopher Newport University (CNU), William & Mary Applied Research Center (WM-ARC). As a distinguished scientist, he was invited by the international congress on bacteriology and infectious diseases as an expert and speaker in 161th Omics Group Conference and he has received a certificate of recognition for his phenomenal presentation.
Dr. Elkhatib has an ultimate goal to promote international collaborative research on infectious diseases therapies aiming to improve patients’ healthcare worldwide. Dr. Elkhatib has outstanding records of scientific and academic accomplishments with multiple publications and numerous presentations in both national and international symposia and conferences. He served as a scientific reviewer for various prestigious journals as well as other national research institutions. Owing to his excellent scholarly activities in both teaching and research, he has received different awards and honors including Egyptian Partnership & Ownership award (Twice), ICAAC ID Fellows Grant Program awarded by American Society for Microbiology (ASM), Institution and Individual Award of Egypt (Single yearly award in the field of Pharmaceuticals & Biopharmaceuticals), Ain-Shams University award for outstanding publications (Five), Appreciation award from Faculty of Pharmacy, Ain-Shams University for participation in Quality Assurance Unit and accreditation, and Ain-Shams University appreciation award for outstanding scholarly activities.
photo of Kim Fisher Atkinson, Ph.D.
Kim Fisher Atkinson, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Rinker Health Science Campus
(714) 516-5469
Dr. Kimberly Fisher Atkinson joined Chapman University School of Pharmacy as a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Surya Nauli in November 2014. She has been studying the role of primary cilia and the centrosome in cell division and in human disease. Potential avenues of research include the involvement of the primary cilia in ciliopathies such as polycystic kidney disease (PKD) and targeting the centrosome and primary cilia in cancer therapy.
Dr. Atkinson is a molecular biologist that uses cultured cells (in vitro) and mice (in vivo) to study signaling mechanisms involved in human disease. Dr. Atkinson’s thesis work was done in the lab of Dr. Thomas DuBose, Jr. and focused on the kidney’s response to an acid load through increased proton secretion. The title of my dissertation was “Regulation of ATPase-mediated H+ secretion in the medullary collecting duct by Pyk2, a pH-sensing tyrosine kinase and its involvement in the regulation of acid-base homeostasis by the kidney collecting duct.” This work is published in a manuscript published in AJP – Renal Physiology (2012) and another under review. Dr. Atkinson also did postdoctoral work at Vanderbilt in the lab of Dr. Raymond Harris, which focused on the role of cannabinoid receptors and other G protein coupled receptors in hypertension.
Dr. Atkinson published papers related to the cilia early in 2015, one as a co-author in a CMLS manuscript and another as first author on a Focused Review published in Frontiers in Physiology. She continues to work on understanding the primary cilia and its role in disease.
photo of Sarmed H. Kathem, Ph.D.
Sarmed H. Kathem, Ph.D.
Visiting Scholar
Rinker Health Science Campus
(714) 516-5463
Dr. Kathem joined the Chapman University School of Pharmacy as a Visiting Scholar in November 2014. He received his B.Sc. degree in Pharmacy from University of Baghdad in 1998. He worked in Ibn-Alnafees Hospital as a clinical pharmacist. Later, he changed his career to the academic field. He worked in the University of Baghdad College of Pharmacy as a teaching assistant (1999) then he received M.Sc. in pharmacology (2004) followed by Ph.D. in pharmacology (2012) from the University of Baghdad College of Pharmacy. He was appointed as a tenure faculty in the University of Baghdad College of Pharmacy from 2005 until now.
Dr. Kathem enrolled in the primary cilia research group with Dr. Surya Nauli in the University of Toledo in 2012, then he also re-joined with Dr. Nauli to pursue his research in Chapman University in 2014.
Dr. Kathem is a faculty in the University of Baghdad, visiting scholar in Chapman University, member in professional societies (ASPET, Iraqi Pharmacists Syndicate), reviewer in scientific journals, and participating in many conferences and workshops.
Dr. Kathem’s previous research focused on the molecular components of primary cilia mechanosensory and chemosensory functions in endothelial cells. The research focused on the role primary cilia in coordinating the dopaminergic and NO signaling of endothelial cells in polycystic kidney disease. That research includes in vitro models and clinical studies. In addition, the role of primary cilia in planer cell polarity also explored in relation to polycystic kidney disease (PKD). The current research looking for more signaling pathways regulated by primary cilia in endothelial and renal epithelial cells, these signaling pathways expected to have pharmacological impact on PKD.
Dr. Kathem currently work with Chapman’s cilia research group led by Dr. Surya Nauli, their experimental and clinical research intending: 1) to increase our knowledge on the role of primary cilia in disease, specially the cardiovascular component of PKD like hypertension; 2) to find cilia-related molecular targets to be utilized for therapeutic purposes. Their research on primary cilia aiming to translate the experimental findings into clinical practice in an attempt to shed the light on the way to pharmacologically rescue primary cilia function or what is called ciliotherapy.
photo of Rukhsana Lalani, Ph.D.
Rukhsana Lalani, Ph.D.
Affiliated Scholar
(626) 222-9462
Dr. Lalani joined the Chapman University, School of Pharmacy in August 2015 with Dr. Aftab Ahmed’s research group. She received her B.Sc. (Hons) in Chemistry and M.Sc. in Physical Chemistry from University of Karachi in 1977. Later, she joined a MS program at Western Carolina University, NC, USA in 1978. She received her Ph.D. in Protein Chemistry at the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi, Pakistan in 1985.
After the graduation, she joined the Clinical Laboratories at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan, where she established and implemented the Quality Systems. She joined the department of Endocrinology at Charles Drew University as Sr. Research Associate in 1997, where she worked in research projects on Microgravity and Aging processes, and its relation to Myostatin gene, which resulted in several publications in the reputable scientific Journals.
Later, she joined Baxter BioScience, a plasma product manufacturing company at the very inception of their state of the art automated plasma fractionating facility. During her time at Baxter, as project manager, she was the key contributor for the development and transfer of the plasma fractionation process from manual to the automated facility. She also participated in their Internal, External third party Pre-Audit Inspections (PAI) and Regulatory Agencies Audits. She was with Baxter till the automated manufacturing process was approved by FDA.. After leaving Baxter in July 2010, she continued consulting to the medical device and pharmaceutical industries. She also worked as adjunct faculty at American University of Health Sciences (AUHS), teaching for the MSCR program. Currently, she is consulting at LabDX Inc.
Dr. Lalani’s current research interest at Chapman University, School of Pharmacy, includes proteomic profiling, protein purification, characterization, including amino acid sequencing and mass spectrometry techniques. She is working on bioactive proteins and peptides from various species of plants used in folk medicines in various parts of the world. From her research, Dr. Lalani has authored or co-authored 12 peer reviewed publications.
photo of Meshal Nazeer
Meshal Nazeer
Research Associate
Meshal Nazeer earned her MS in Biochemistry, University of Karachi, Pakistan. Currently she is a Research Associate in Dr. Aftab Ahmed’s group at Chapman University School of Pharmacy. She is a full time Ph.D. student at HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry, University of Karachi, Pakistan. Her research interests include protein purification, characterization, and amino acid sequencing. She is working on proteins and peptides profiling of medicinal plants used in traditional folk medicine.
photo of Young Woo Nam, Ph.D.
Young Woo Nam, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
(714) 516-5495
Dr. Young Woo Nam joined the Chapman University School of Pharmacy as a Postdoctoral Fellow in November 2015. He received his Ph.D. in Department of Biotechnology at University of Tokyo, Japan. He studied three-dimensional structures of Glycoside Hydrolases (GHs) for understanding cellular metabolisms and determined two novel crystal structures. One of his work was published in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2015).
Dr. Nam is a structural biologist specializing in blending computational and experimental approaches to elucidate the molecular structure of proteins utilizing X-ray diffraction, computational biology image processing, bioinformatics and structural prediction. He is interested in protein conformational changes, protein-ligand interactions and structure-based drug design of small-conductance K+ channels (SK channels). Currently Dr. Nam researches with Dr. Zhang on the pharmacological modulation of KCa2/3 channels by small molecule drugs and structure based drug discovery for SK channels.
photo of Pala Rajasekharreddy, Ph.D.
Pala Rajasekharreddy, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Rinker Health Science Campus
(714) 516-5462
Dr. Pala Rajasekharreddy joined Chapman University School of Pharmacy in February 2015 as a Post-Doctoral researcher. He earned his PhD in Biological Sciences from Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR), New Delhi.
Dr. Pala is a Nano biotechnologist specialized in the Biological/Green synthesis of various metal and metal oxide nanoparticles with their application as drug delivery agents. After his post-graduation he was selected for ICMR-Research Fellowship under Biomedical Sciences in 2011 and during this period of his doctoral studies at CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, India, he has earned handsome experience on the physical and chemical characterizations techniques of nanoparticles that are enveloped with various biologically active compounds such as protein, lipids and small molecular drugs for their biomedical applications.
Dr. Pala is a Nano biotechnologist specialized in the Biological/Green synthesis of various metal and metal oxide nanoparticles with their application as drug delivery agents. After his post-graduation he was selected for ICMR-Research Fellowship under Biomedical Sciences in 2011 and during this period of his doctoral studies at CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, India, he has earned handsome experience on the physical and chemical characterizations techniques of nanoparticles that are enveloped with various biologically active compounds such as protein, lipids and small molecular drugs for their biomedical applications.
Current Research: Understanding primary cilia and their associated diseases by using different nanoparticles mediated therapeutic agents.
photo of Meenakshi Sharma
Meenakshi Sharma
Research Associate
(714) 516-5463
Dr. Meenakshi Sharma joined the Chapman University, School of Pharmacy as a Senior Research Associate June 2015. She received her BS in Zoology major and PhD in Biomedical Sciences from University of Delhi, India. She earned her MS in Toxicology from Jamia Hamdard, Delhi, India.
After earning her PhD she received the prestigious Young Scientist Grant Award from Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, India (DST) on project entitled “Development of homocysteine-induced atherosclerotic rat model and its possible mode of action for causing atherosclerosis” from April 2005 to April 2007 at Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Center for Biomedical Research, University of Delhi, India. In June 2007, she joined as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at School of Pharmacy University of Rhode Island, United States with Professor Abraham Kovoor, in the field of Neuroscience. During her post-doctoral research, she studied the Molecular mechanisms underlying the pharmacotherapy of schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease. She also worked on the project that describes the Polymorphism of the RGS9 gene identified in Parkinson’s and Schizophrenia that alters splicing efficiency. She worked on the cellular localization of D2 Dopamine receptor (D2R) and proved that D2R is segregated in special plasma membrane micro-compartments. She studied the function of R7 RGS proteins in Neuronal Precursor Cells (NPC) which provide important new insights into understanding NPC function, neurogenesis and the expanding role of RGS proteins in regulating cell signaling processes.
From her research, she has authored and co-authored 23 peers reviewed article and 2 Indian patents. She is a member of Society of Toxicology (SOT).