Midwestern University Home

Categories

ALL

Gloria Yueh
Professor and Chair of Biochemistry, Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine
Y. Gloria Yueh, Ph.D., is professor and chair of biochemistry in the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine (AZCOM) at Midwestern University's Glendale (AZ) Campus.
Linda Walters
Professor of Anatomy, Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine
Linda Walters, Ph.D, is an anatomy professor in the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine (AZCOM) at Midwestern University's Glendale (AZ) Campus.
Kathleen O'Hagan
Department Chair and Professor of Physiology, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
Kathleen P. O'Hagan, Ph.D., is professor and chair of the Department of Physiology at Midwestern University's Downers Grove (IL) Campus.
Adjunct Faculty, Physical Therapy, College of Health Sciences
Kevin Quinn, PT, MPT, MS, ATC, is adjunct faculty in Physical Therapy at Midwestern University's Downers Grove (IL) campus.
Mitchell Emerson
Interim Chair, College of Pharmacy-Glendale
Mitchell Emerson, Ph.D., is Interim Chair in the College of Pharmacy–Glendale at Midwestern University's Glendale (AZ) Campus.
Shridhar Andurkar
Associate Professor and Chair, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chicago College of Pharmacy
Shridhar Andurkar, Ph.D., is associate professor and chair of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Chicago College of Pharmacy (CCP) at Midwestern University's Downers Grove (IL) Campus.
Jennifer D'Souza
Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice, Chicago College of Pharmacy
Jennifer D'Souza, Pharm.D., CDE, is assistant professor of Pharmacy Practice in the Chicago College of Pharmacy (CCP) at Midwestern University's Downers Grove (IL) Campus.
Brad Smith
Associate Dean, College of Dental Medicine-AZ
Brad Smith, D.D.S., B.Sc., is Associate Dean in the College of Dental Medicine-Arizona at Midwestern University's Glendale (AZ) Campus.
David Luce
Assistant Professor, Physician Assistant Studies, College of Health Sciences
David Luce, M.M.S., PA-C, is assistant professor of Physician Assistant Studies in the College of Health Sciences at Midwestern University's Downers Grove (IL) Campus.
Donald Jarnigan
Dean, Arizona College of Optometry
Donald Jarnigan, O.D., is the Dean of Arizona College of Optometry (AZCOPT) at Midwestern University's Glendale (AZ) Campus.
Phil Huang
Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
Phil Huang, D.O., is a 2012 graduate of the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) at Midwestern University's Downers Grove (IL) Campus.
Tolu Akinwale
Chicago College of Pharmacy, Downers Grove Campus
Tolu Akinwale is a student in the Chicago College of Pharmacy at Midwestern University's Downers Grove (IL) Campus.
Allison Rushing
College of Health Sciences, Downers Grove Campus
Allison Rushing, D.P.T., is a 2012 graduate of the Physical Therapy Program in the College of Health Sciences (CHS) at Midwestern University's Downers Grove (IL) campus.
Sam Funk
Arizona College of Optometry
Sam Funk is a student in the Arizona College of Optometry (AZCOPT) at Midwestern University's Glendale (AZ) campus.
Laura Sibrava
College of Dental Medicine-Arizona
Laura Sibrava, D.M.D., is a 2012 graduate of the College of Dental Medicine-Arizona at Midwestern University's Glendale (AZ) Campus.
Heather Thoreson
College of Pharmacy-Glendale
Heather Thoreson, Pharm.D., is a 2012 graduate of the College of Pharmacy-Glendale (CPG) at Midwestern University's Glendale (AZ) Campus.
Hillary Carnell
Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hillary Carnell, D.O., is a 2012 graduate of the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine (AZCOM) at Midwestern University's Glendale (AZ) Campus.
Danny Wu
College of Health Sciences, Glendale Campus
Danny Wu is a graduate from the College of Health Sciences (CHS) at Midwestern University's Glendale (AZ) Campus.
Jared Techau
College of Health Sciences, Glendale Campus
Jared Techau is a graduate from the College of Health Sciences (CHS) at Midwestern University's Glendale (AZ) Campus.
Safi Mohammed
Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
Safi Mohammed is a student in the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) at Midwestern University's Downers Grove (IL) Campus.
Diane Baldemor
College of Health Sciences – Downers Grove
Diane Baldemor is a student in the College of Health Sciences (CHS) at Midwestern University's Downers Grove (IL) Campus.
Chessa Calabrese
College of Dental Medicine-Illinois
Chessa Calabrese is a student in the College of Dental Medicine at Midwestern University's Downers Grove (IL) Campus.
Eder Garavito
College of Health Sciences, Glendale Campus
Eder Garavito is a 2013 graduate in the inaugural class of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program in the College of Health Sciences.

What if we need both sides of this coin? What if it takes a great idea to quell a physical firestorm?

Tinkering with Molecules

Building blocks of life. Like an artist doodling on a sketchpad, the young chemist sits at his desk with pen in hand, notebook and page margins filled with chemical equations, as he muses about the groups found in a drug molecule that treats convulsions associated with epilepsy. 'Yes, I know this drug works,' he tells himself. 'But how can I make it work better? What happens if I alter this atom? Or add a different group to the mix? Will it have any effect on the biological response? How will it work in the brain and the body?'

With 30 percent of patients not currently benefiting from existing drugs for epilepsy, the chemist recognizes the great need for new pharmaceuticals. Could his compound be — or contribute to creating — a valuable anticonvulsant medication? His curiosity sparks interesting combinations he wants to try in the laboratory. Solving puzzles is part of the fascination. 'Why do some patients respond to a drug for a time and then it stops working for them?' he wonders. 'Is there a problem transporting the drug to the brain? Or has the receptor site in this patient's brain somehow changed so the drug no longer works? Maybe something genetic makes this drug ineffective.' Answers appear over time.

For Shridhar Andurkar, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences in the Chicago College of Pharmacy (CCP) at Midwestern University, the processes of medicinal chemistry and teaching others about it are his passions. "My hobby is thinking about chemical structures and the molecules I'm currently making in my lab. Like every good chemist, I always want to find out if I can make something that works well work even better. Can I uncover a new mechanism to benefit the epilepsy patients who don't respond to current drugs?" Given that Andurkar has already patented one new molecule and is working on several others, the answer may soon be "yes."

Like every good chemist, I always want to find out if I can make something that works well work even better."
— Shridhar Andurkar, Ph.D., Downers Grove

Sharing Passion and Curiosity

At Midwestern University, Andurkar shares his passion for medicinal chemistry with up-and-coming pharmacy students. Is the process of drug discovery planned, serendipity, or a combination of both? Andurkar encourages students to unleash their curiosity, doodle, experiment, speculate, immerse themselves in the mystery, the intrigue, the puzzle. Continually modifying active ingredients and trying again and again could result in a compound, a patent, a pharmaceutical that benefits thousands.

Making Chemistry Relevant

"No branch of pharmacy will stand on its own without a good basic science foundation," says Andurkar. "Midwestern University faculty work hard to make medicinal chemistry relevant to the practice of pharmacy. We focus on removing students' fear of chemistry and basic science," so they can succeed. Andurkar and his colleagues coordinate course planning, preparation, and presentation to create continuity between lecturers, as well as agreement and consistency in the use of language and chemical terminology. "That way, students 'get' it and feel confident in their knowledge," he says. In addition to courses in the medicinal chemistry sequence, Andurkar follows his passion for tinkering with molecules as he teaches Drug Design and Molecular Modeling, OTC Products, and the chemistry section of the PCAT review course.

Influential Teacher

Andurkar first discovered his love for the classroom as research/teaching assistant at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. During his postdoctoral fellowship and as a visiting assistant professor in the chemistry department at the University of Houston (TX), "I found I really enjoyed teaching," says Andurkar. Student feedback confirmed he was good at it. He must still be doing something right: during a period of six years at MWU, Andurkar received five CCP Teacher of the Year awards and four Golden Apple awards, as well as the 2008 Littlejohn Award, presented to an outstanding faculty member by the Midwestern University president. "Student feedback tells me they understand what we're doing in class," says Andurkar. "Each year, they recognize a faculty member who has had the most impact on them throughout their years at Midwestern University. It's an honor and very humbling to be a recipient of all the teaching awards."


Andurkar, Ph.D.Shridhar Andurkar, Ph.D., is associate professor and chair of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Chicago College of Pharmacy (CCP) at Midwestern University's Downers Grove (IL) Campus. In addition to his teaching and administrative positions at Midwestern University, Andurkar serves as scientific advisor to Aagami, Inc., in Naperville (IL).


Bookmark and Share