Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy Awarded $330,000 NIH Grant

Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy Awarded $330,000 NIH Grant

Presbyterian College is proud to announce that PC School of Pharmacy (PCSP) Associate Professor and Director of Research Dr. Edgar Alfonso Romero-Sandoval has been awarded a R15 $330,000 National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant.

Romero-Sandoval’s R15 grant is an Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) grant awarded by NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences.  A successful award offers an institution up to three years of support for small-scale meritorious research projects.

Dr. Romero-Sandoval’s research focus is postoperative pain and his research project entitled “Cell-directed therapy using nanotechnology for the prevention of chronic postoperative pain” presents significant opportunities for PC undergraduate students.

Romero-Sandoval is passionate about his work, noting that “many common surgical procedures are known to induce a chronic pain state in humans.  Due to the substantial economic and social impact of persistent postsurgical pain and because there are limited treatment options for this condition, the medical community needs novel and more effective therapies to prevent the development of chronic postoperative pain. Our proposed studies will provide the foundation for a new therapeutic strategy that has the potential to reduce the incidence of chronic pain following major surgery”.

He is also passionate about the opportunity to involve undergraduate students in significant biomedical research and the potential impact this involvement may have on the students’ future study and careers

Dr. Romero-Sandoval said, “Over the next three years through this NIH-funded research, we will have the opportunity to expose PC undergraduate students to biomedical research, research mentorship, and careers and opportunities in biomedical sciences. Students will be actively involved in each step of the project and will have opportunities to present their research at regional and national meetings, and to assist in manuscript publication of their data.

“One of our primary goals for this project was to provide support for an independent high quality research project with the goal of strengthening the biomedical research environment at PC and increasing student led research projects. To this end, we are fortunate to have working with us a team of experts from major institutions that adds expertise in nanotechnology applicable to biological systems in vitro and in vivo (Dr. Jose Conejo-Garcia, M.D., Ph.D., The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, PA), and in pre-clinical models and human clinical trials for the study of postoperative pain (James Eisenach, M.D., and Christopher Peters, Ph.D., Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC).”

Dr. Romero-Sandoval received his MD (1999) from the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala and his PhD (2003) in neuroscience and pain from the Universidad de Alcala (University of Alcala) in Madrid, Spain.

He completed two postdoctoral fellowships, the first at Wake Forest Medical Center and the    second at Dartmouth Medical School. Upon completion of his Dartmouth fellowship, he served as Assistant Professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology, and Toxicology prior to his arrival at PCSP.

Since his arrival at PCSP, Dr. Romero-Sandoval has embraced the PC mission of “While we live, we serve,” including service to the community among his many interests.  He now serves as Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy’s director of research and began a new summer research-based exchange program at PCSP with University of Alcala. Dr. Romero-Sandoval is also enthusiastic about PCSP’s mission trips, traveling with students and faculty on several mission trips to Central America. “I not only enjoy the possibility to interact and collaborate with talented students at PC and PCSP, but also the many opportunities to serve those in most need.”