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PCP Doctoral Students Publish COVID-19 Research Review

By Nicole Carrera

Published on September 25, 2020

Mohammad Alvi PhD’20, Sowmya Sivasankaran PhD’21, and Mahima Singh PhD’20As the COVID-19 pandemic brought shutdowns across the country, three USciences PhD students used their time away from the lab to publish a review article about the virus. By completing this analysis as the pandemic continues in real-time, these students were able to work together to share the most recent findings about COVID-19 with the scientific community. 

Mohammad Alvi PhD’20 (Pharmaceutics), Sowmya Sivasankaran PhD’21 (Pharmaceutics), and Mahima Singh PhD’20 (Pharmaceutics) had their work titled “Pharmacological and non-pharmacological efforts at preventions, mitigation, and treatment for COVID-19” published in the Journal of Drug Targeting

“We felt an urge and a responsibility to understand the origins and treatments available for the coronavirus,” shared Alvi and Singh. “We found that there was a lot of scattered, evidence-based information, but it had to be compiled together in a single piece for readers (scientific and otherwise) to be able to use.”

The authors cited numerous publications in their review, and thoroughly discussed the success of many interventions against the virus including social distancing, using proper personal protective equipment (PPE), and contact tracing. The authors ultimately concluded that effective pharmacological treatments and prevention methods are still needed in order to control the virus. 

“The drawbacks associated with [the current] interventions necessitate the development of vaccines and antivirals,” shares Sivasankaran. 

Due to the dynamic nature of COVID-19, compiling relevant and reliable research was a large task, but the authors worked closely to ensure they were compiling the best possible information. By having frequent Zoom meetings and each having a designated section of the paper, the group was able to avoid major issues. 

"...there was always a scope for expanding out article."

-- Sowmya Sivasankaran PhD’21 (Pharmaceutics)

“Since things were being discovered/published every day, there was always a scope for expanding our article. But we tried not to deviate from the initially prepared outline,” explains Sivasankaran.

Alvi, Singh, and Sivasankaran all expressed their gratitude for the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and it’s faculty for their support, specifically citing Kamal Jonnalagadda, PhD, Director of the Pharmaceutics Graduate program, who helped to review the paper before publication. 

“We believe that the department of pharmaceutical sciences at USciences produces independent thinkers which became obvious when we were able to follow the discipline that our mentors have taught us over the years,” explain Alvi and Singh. “Without their physical presence, we were able to embody in us their teachings...and not only rise to the occasion, but also produce an effective work.”

Categories: News, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmaceutics, Students, Publication, Coronavirus