Utilizing the Theory of Planned Behavior to determine the intentions to receive the influenza vaccine during COVID-19: A cross-sectional survey of US adults

Dr. Angela Chu, Dr. Vasudha Gupta
College of Pharmacy

Vaccine hesitancy, especially in the setting of an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and upcoming flu season, may pose a significant burden on US healthcare systems. The objective of this study was to evaluate the intentions of US adults to receive the influenza vaccine this flu season (2020–2021). A cross-sectional, population-based survey study of US adults age 18 years and older was distributed in early September 2020. The primary outcome was the intention to receive the flu vaccine assessed with a survey instrument based on the Theory of Planned Behavior. Three-hundred sixty-four adults (59.1% female, 66.5% white), completed the survey. Twenty percent of participants had already received the flu vaccine, 54.3% indicated high probability of getting the flu vaccine this flu season, and 49% would get it at a doctor’s office. Concerns regarding adverse effects from the flu vaccine was a major barrier to vaccination and family (58.1%) was the primary influencer in participants’ decision to get vaccinated. Participants who indicated that getting the vaccine was beneficial to them and that their doctor thinks they should get the flu vaccine were significantly more likely to have the intent of getting vaccinated. Approximately half of US adults believed that the flu vaccine was beneficial to them and indicated intent to receive the vaccine this flu season. Doctors can help educate patients regarding the limited adverse effects of flu vaccines, and include patients and their families in vaccination discussions – because families are influential in the decision-making process – to increase flu vaccination uptake.

In vitro evaluation of antimicrobial activity of chlorhexidine hexametaphosphate nanoparticle coatings on orthodontic elastomeric chains

Dr. Karthikeyan Subramani
College of Dental Medicine

This study was conducted to evaluate antimicrobial activity of orthodontic elastomeric chains (OECs) coated with chlorhexidine (CHX) hexametaphosphate (HMP) nanoparticles and its effect on force decay. OECs were coated with CHX-HMP-5 (5 mM CHX and HMP), CHX-HMP-1 (1 mM CHX and HMP) nanoparticle colloidal solutions, CHX-5 (5 mM CHX) and CHX-1 (1 mM CHX) solutions. Release of CHX from coated OECs was evaluated over 28 days. Antimicrobial activity of the eluate collected on day 1 was tested against Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus rhamnosus by measuring the zone of inhibition after 4 days. OECs were observed by scanning electron microscope (SEM) to observe surface characteristics comparing: (1) uncoated and coated OECs and (2) before and after release of CHX. Force decay of OECs were measured over 28 days. SEM analysis showed that OECs were coated with nanoparticles. OECs coated with CHX-HMP-5 and CHX-HMP-1 released CHX over 28 days. The eluate from the coated OECs produced zones of inhibition after day 4 towards S. mutans and L. rhamnosus. Both CHX-HMP nanoparticle coated OEC released CHX over a period of 28 days that was capable of inhibiting the growth of S. mutans and L. rhamnosus. For all groups, the largest mean loss of force occurred over the first 24 h, followed by a relative plateau. All groups maintained >50% of the initial mean force over entire experiment of 28 days. This study showed that OECs can be coated with CXH-HMP nanoparticles that continuously elute the antimicrobial for extended periods. The coatings did not alter the force decay of OECs. Use of such coating on OECs can provide antibacterial activity to aid in the reduction of biofilm buildup and prevention of white spot lesions. This approach offers promising clinical applications.

Prevalence of posterior alveolar bony dehiscence and fenestration in adults with posterior crossbite: a CBCT study

Dr. Kishore Chaudhry
College of Dental Medicine

Correcting posterior crossbite in adult patients using nonsurgical methods may involve buccolingual tooth movement. Knowing the extent of the pretreatment alveolar bony dehiscences and fenestrations in the posterior area will aid orthodontists in planning posterior crossbite patients accordingly to minimize posttreatment bony defects. Before the advent of cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), observing buccal and lingual bony defects was not possible unless other treatment needs allowed for an open-flap procedure. With CBCT technology, we can now detect posterior defects with some accuracy. The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of posterior alveolar bony dehiscence and fenestration in adults with posterior crossbite compared with noncrossbite adults.

Getting Rigor Right

Dr. Tyler Rose
College of Pharmacy

A colleague of mine once shared a story he heard of an organic chemistry teacher who would tell people he had one of the most important, lifesaving jobs in the world. Why? Because he made sure academically unprepared premed students never made it to medical school. Teachers can have many possible motivations for maintaining high academic standards in their courses. A desire to ensure future health practitioners are adequately prepared to engage in the intellectual rigor of their profession may be just one of them.

A comparison of medication counseling evaluation tools utilized in colleges of pharmacy to three recognized guidance documents

Dr. Vasudha Gupta
College of Pharmacy

A universal tool to assess proficiency in patient counseling has not been developed. The objectives of this project were to assess current practices in evaluating patient counseling at colleges of pharmacy and compare the results with three nationally recognized reference standards: the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists National Patient Counseling Competition Evaluation Form, and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Guidelines on Pharmacist Conducted Patient Education and Counseling.

Top consumer uses of bestselling, single-ingredient vitamin and mineral supplements

Dr. Tyler Rose
College of Pharmacy

Vitamin and mineral supplements are widely used for self-care of a variety of medical conditions, but little is known about the specific conditions for which they are used. This study mined consumer product reviews to determine specific ways vitamin and mineral supplements are being used therapeutically.

Dental care and personal protective measures for dentists and non-dental health care workers

Dr. Kamran Awan, Dr. William Carroll
College of Dental Medicine

As the COVID-19 virus spread primarily by the respiratory route, COVID-19 infection not only poses significant risks to health care workers, but to dentists and dental health care workers, owing to the potential prolonged exposure and proximity to patients. Dental staff, including non-dental health care workers who may treat dental emergencies, needs to follow several steps, from patient evaluation to infection control at personal, procedural and clinical levels, to prevent any possible COVID-19 cross-contamination in dental clinics.

An Overview of Advanced Formulation and Nanotechnology-based Approaches for Solubility and Bioavailability Enhancement of Silymarin

Dr. Siddharth Kesharwani, Dr. Surajit Dey
College of Pharmacy

In this manuscript, we provide a state of the art review of the various approaches in the area of formulations, drug delivery, and nanotechnology employed for enhancing the solubility, stability and oral bioavailability of a very useful natural product  Silymarin. This also lays down the foundation of lessons learnt from these formulation studies and how the close collaboration among various disciplines can offer to the field for enhancing the clinical application of silymarin in various diseases.

Nobiletin as a Molecule for Formulation Development: An Overview of Advanced Formulation and Nanotechnology-Based Strategies of Nobiletin

Dr. Siddharth Kesharwani, Dr. Surajit Dey
College of Pharmacy

In this manuscript, we provide a state of the art review of the various approaches in the area of formulations, drug delivery, and nanotechnology employed for enhancing the solubility, stability and oral bioavailability of a very useful natural product  Nobiletin. This also lays down the foundation of lessons learnt from these formulation studies and how the close collaboration among various disciplines can offer to the field for enhancing the clinical application of Nobiletin in various diseases.

Social Network Analysis of COVID-19 Sentiments: Application of Artificial Intelligence

Dr. Man Hung
College of Dental Medicine

The outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) upended people’s lives worldwide. COVID-19 is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a novel human pathogen that virologists believe emerged from bats and eventually jumped to humans via an intermediary host [1]. Clinical manifestations range from mild or no symptoms to more severe illness that may result in pulmonary failure and even death [2].

A review of nanotechnology-based approaches for breast cancer and triple-negative breast cancer

Dr. Siddharth Kesharwani, Dr. Surajit Dey
College of Pharmacy

Breast cancer (BC) is one of the most prevalent cancers in women. Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) in which the three major receptors i.e. estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), are absent is known to express the most aggressive phenotype and increased metastasis which results in the development of resistance to chemotherapy. It offers various therapeutic advantages in treating BC and TNBC. Nanotechnology offers various unique characteristics such as small size (nanometric), active and passive targeting, and the ability to attach multiple targeting moieties, controlled release, and site-specific targeting. This review focuses on conventional drug therapies, recent treatment strategies, and unique therapeutic approaches available for BC and TNBC. The role of breast cancer stem cells in the recurrence of BC and TNBC has also been highlighted. Several chemotherapeutic agents delivered using nanocarriers such as polymeric nanoparticles/micelles, metallic/inorganic NPs, and lipid-based NPs (Liposome, solid-lipid nanoparticles (SLNs), and nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs)), etc. with excellent responses in the treatment of BC/TNBC along with breast cancer stem cells have been discussed in details. Moreover, the application of nanomedicine including CRISPR nanoparticle, exosomes for the treatment of BC/TNBC and other molecular targets available such as poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), etc. for further exploration have also been discussed.

Toward a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Addressing Ethics and Humanities in Health Professions Education

Dr. Marin Gillis
College of Medicine

This article  offers a “how‐to” guide for getting started in the scholarship of teaching and learning addressing ethics and humanities in health professions education. It provides an overview of the current state of the scholarship of teaching and learning, addresses challenges to effective research, and examines case studies in educational research methods, as well as considerations in publishing and funding.

Health and dental care expenditures in the United States from 1996 to 2016

Man Hung, Ryan Moffat, Joseph Cheever, David Prince, Nicole Bayliss, Weston Boyack, Frank W. Licari
College of Dental Medicine

As total health and dental care expenditures in the United States continue to rise, healthcare disparities for low to middle-income Americans creates an imperative to analyze existing expenditures. This study examined health and dental care expenditures in the United States from 1996 to 2016 and explored trends in spending across various population subgroups.

Role of CYP3A5 in Modulating Androgen Receptor Signaling and Its Relevance to African American Men With Prostate Cancer

Dr. Ranjana Mitra, Dr. Priyatham Gorjala, Dr. Oscar B. Goodman Jr.
College of Medicine

Androgen receptor signaling is crucial for prostate cancer growth and is positively regulated in part by intratumoral CYP3A5. As African American (AA) men often carry the wild type CYP3A5 and express high levels of CYP3A5 protein, we blocked the wild type CYP3A5 in AA origin prostate cancer cells and tested its effect on androgen receptor signaling. q-PCR based profiler assay identified several AR regulated genes known to regulate AR nuclear translocation, cell cycle progression, and cell growth. CYP3A5 processes several commonly prescribed drugs and many of these are CYP3A5 inducers or inhibitors. In this study, we test the effect of these commonly prescribed CYP3A5 inducers/inhibitors on AR signaling. The results show that the CYP3A5 inducers promoted AR nuclear translocation, downstream signaling, and cell growth, whereas CYP3A5 inhibitors abrogated them. The observed changes in AR activity is specific to alterations in CYP3A5 activity as the effects are reduced in the CYP3A5 knockout background. Both the inducers tested demonstrated increased cell growth of prostate cancer cells, whereas the inhibitors showed reduced cell growth. Further, characterization and utilization of the observation that CYP3A5 inducers and inhibitors alter AR signaling may provide guidance to physicians prescribing CYP3A5 modulating drugs to treat comorbidities in elderly patients undergoing ADT, particularly AA.