Program: PhD Track: Pharmaceutics Advisor: Lisa C. Rohan, PhD
Kunal Jhunjhunwala is a graduate student in Dr. Lisa Rohan’s laboratory at the School of Pharmacy and Magee Women's Research Institute. He graduated with an M.S. degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2015 (Thesis titled: Design and Evaluation of a Rectal Specific Microbicide) and continued into the PhD program.
His work in Dr. Lisa Rohan’s laboratory focuses on developing topical microbicides for rectal drug delivery, targeting heterosexual couples engaging in anal intercourse and specific populations like men who have sex with men (MSM). Prior to joining the University of Pittsburgh, Kunal graduated with B. Pharm from School of Pharmacy & Technology Management at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies in Mumbai, India.
My research involves developing microbicides specifically in the form of suppositories for rectal and vaginal administration,moreover developing combination products. It has been proven that combination of more than one anti-HIV drug helps improve treatment when compared to single entity products. The products and formulations in our lab targets the initial site of infection, hence reducing the probability of HIV transmission. These products are designed for topical administration so its site of action is the rectum or vagina. Some of my work focused on products specifically targeting MSM (men who have sex with men) for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
We are currently also involved in investigating drug transport and metabolizing enzymes, focused on improving drug absorption and permeation for effective topical microbicides development.