Southeast Alumna Conducting Doctoral Skin Therapy Research at Rutgers University

Southeast Missouri State University alumna Anika Mim hopes her skin therapy research at Rutgers University will one day save lives.

Mim, a 2014 Southeast graduate with a Master of Natural Sciences in biology from Dhaka, Bangladesh, is pursuing her doctorate in the pharmaceutical science doctoral program at Rutgers’ Center for Dermal Research (CDR), a leading research group to address innovation in the design, action, delivery and disposition of medication through the human skin, and is a focal point for those interested in skin biology.

The biggest challenge in her research, is the human skin’s natural resistance to permeation.

“My research focuses on different strategies to overcome skin barrier to successfully deliver medication to treat various medical conditions such as psoriasis, skin cancer and Alzheimer’s disease,” she said.

By finding safe, fast and effective ways to allow human skin to fully absorb various medications, devices such as medical patches can improve patient care and public health.

She said she wanted to be a part of this research to help change lives.

“It’s inspiring to have this opportunity to actively contribute as a scientist to bring innovative products and drugs that will mitigate patients’ sufferings and ultimately save lives,” she said.

Mim is conducting her research with Dr. Bozena Michniak, director of the CDR and Michniak Laboratory for Drug Delivery (LDD), and professor of pharmaceutics at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy.

Southeast graduate Anika Mim (left) presented her research at the Gordon Research Conference for Barrier Function of Mammalian Skin.

As part of her studies, she is learning about different drug formulations, different techniques of cell culture, and how to perform high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) for drug method development.

One of the highlights, thus far, was attending the Gordon Research Conference for Barrier Function of Mammalian Skin this past August, where she had the opportunity to meet esteemed scientists in her field of study.

“I am inspired by their works and meeting them personally was a big moment for me,” she said. “I also had the opportunity to present my research on Hansen solubility parameters to some of them.”

Her time at Southeast set the foundation for her success at Rutgers, Mim said.

“Some important research knowledge that I am applying now at Rutgers was taught by my research advisor, Dr. Santaneel Ghosh, in Southeast’s lab,” she said. “I’m able to build my knowledge in this field now because of the experiences I received while working in the lab at Southeast. The knowledge that I have gained from Southeast will continue to contribute in my life here at Rutgers and beyond.”

Ultimately, she wants to bring exciting, innovative, effective and successful products and drugs to the market to treat various diseases, Mim said.

“I want to closely investigate various active molecules and the possibility of incorporating them into suitable delivery systems to achieve maximum therapeutic effects and highest patient compliance,” she said. “I want to play an important role in advancing the design, formulation and delivery of skin-mediated therapies and vaccines.

The full potential of topical, transdermal and intradermal therapies and delivery systems is still unexplored, and she hopes to be at the forefront of this exciting field of study.

“I want to become a skilled and respected scientist in the evolving world of pharmaceutical science,” she said.