New York City, NY, United States
New York City, NY, United States

Touro College is a sponsored independent institution of higher and professional education, in New York City, New York, United States. Founded by Bernard Lander, the College was established primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American community. Approximately 19,000 students are currently enrolled in the various schools and divisions that comprise the Touro College and University System.The system includes Touro College and New York Medical College, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, as well as Touro University California and Touro University Nevada, both of which are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The non-profit online university, Touro University Worldwide , is also part of the Touro College and University Systems. Wikipedia.

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Ita K.,Touro College
Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy | Year: 2016

In 2010, the number of deaths from infectious diseases globally was approximately 15 million. It has been reported that two-thirds of deaths from infections are caused by around 20 species, mainly bacteria and viruses. Transnational migration caused by war and the development of transportation facilities have led to the global spread of infectious diseases. Subcutaneous vaccination, though widespread, has a number of problems: the need for trained healthcare personnel, pain, needle-related injuries as well as storage difficulties. Two layers of the human skin- epidermis and dermis- are populated by dendritic cells (DCs), which are potent antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Transcutaneous immunization has therefore become an attractive and alternative route for vaccination. In this review, the various techniques for enhancing vaccine delivery are discussed. These techniques include iontophoresis, elastic liposomes as well as microneedles. Progress made so far with these techniques and the critical issues facing scientists will be highlighted. © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS


Ita K.,Touro College
Current Pharmaceutical Design | Year: 2016

It is still not clear whether intact lipid vesicles can cross the human skin. Some reports in the literature indicate that transfersomes® can cross the skin. Other reports suggest that intact liposomes cannot cross the skin. Of course, the composition of the various formulations has to be taken into consideration before making such assertions. The present review examines the use of vesicles-elastic liposomes and ethosomes-for transdermal drug delivery. Liposomes are micro-or nano-structures formed from a bilayer of lipid surrounding an aqueous core. Elastic liposomes differ from conventional liposomes because they contain edge activators (surfactants) which impart elasticity and deformability. Ethosomes are efficient in facilitating percutaneous drug penetration. They are structurally similar to conventional liposomes in the sense that they are prepared from phospholipids but different because they contain a high concentration of ethanol. Both elastic liposomes and ethosomes are increasingly being used for delivering low and high molecular weight drugs. In this review, several reports are presented showing the usefulness of these vesicles and mechanistic insight sought as to why they may be effective in certain cases. © 2016 Bentham Science Publishers.


Ita K.B.,Touro College
Journal of Drug Targeting | Year: 2016

Prodrugs continue to attract significant interest in the transdermal drug delivery field. These moieties can confer favorable physicochemical properties on transdermal drug delivery candidates. Alkyl chain lengthening, pegylation are some of the strategies used for prodrug synthesis. It is usually important to optimize partition coefficient, water and oil solubilities of drugs. In this review, progress made in the field of prodrugs for percutaneous penetration is highlighted and the challenges discussed. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


Ita K.,Touro College
Journal of Drug Delivery Science and Technology | Year: 2015

Transdermal drug delivery has a number of advantages. These include avoidance of presystemic metabolism, absence of gastric irritation and enzymatic degradation, convenience, painlessness, noninvasiveness and improved patient compliance [3e6]. Despite these advantages, it is challenging to deliver molecules across the skin. Researchers have used external force to drive compounds through the skin. Several strategies are used to achieve this goal including chemical penetration enhancers, sonophoresis, iontophoresis and microneedles. Microneedles are micrometer-sized needles that are used to porate the skin for drug delivery. These needles are long enough to penetrate the stratum corneum but too short to stimulate pain receptors that are located in the dermis. Considerable progress has been made in the design and development of microneedles. Several strategies have been adopted for the fabrication of different types of microneedles. This paper reviews the strategies used in developing micorneedles and outcomes from clinical trials. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Ita K.,Touro College
Pharmaceutics | Year: 2016

Transdermal drug delivery offers several advantages, including avoidance of erratic absorption, absence of gastric irritation, painlessness, noninvasiveness, as well as improvement in patient compliance. With this mode of drug administration, there is no pre-systemic metabolism and it is possible to increase drug bioavailability and half-life. However, only a few molecules can be delivered across the skin in therapeutic quantities. This is because of the hindrance provided by the stratum corneum. Several techniques have been developed and used over the last few decades for transdermal drug delivery enhancement. These include sonophoresis, iontophoresis, microneedles, and electroporation. Electroporation, which refers to the temporary perturbation of the skin following the application of high voltage electric pulses, has been used to increase transcutaneous flux values by several research groups. In this review, transdermal electroporation is discussed and the use of the technique for percutaneous transport of low and high molecular weight compounds described. This review also examines our current knowledge regarding the mechanisms of electroporation and safety concerns arising from the use of this transdermal drug delivery technique. Safety considerations are especially important because electroporation utilizes high voltage pulses which may have deleterious effects in some cases. © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Ita K.,Touro College
Pharmaceutics | Year: 2015

Transdermal drug delivery offers a number of advantages including improved patient compliance, sustained release, avoidance of gastric irritation, as well as elimination of pre-systemic first-pass effect. However, only few medications can be delivered through the transdermal route in therapeutic amounts. Microneedles can be used to enhance transdermal drug delivery. In this review, different types of microneedles are described and their methods of fabrication highlighted. Microneedles can be fabricated in different forms: hollow, solid, and dissolving. There are also hydrogel-forming microneedles. A special attention is paid to hydrogel-forming microneedles. These are innovative microneedles which do not contain drugs but imbibe interstitial fluid to form continuous conduits between dermal microcirculation and an attached patch-type reservoir. Several microneedles approved by regulatory authorities for clinical use are also examined. The last part of this review discusses concerns and challenges regarding microneedle use. © 2015 by the authors. licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Ita K.,Touro College
Journal of Drug Targeting | Year: 2016

The stratum corneum continues to pose considerable impediment to transdermal drug delivery. One of the effective ways of circumventing this challenge is through the use of iontophoresis. Iontophoresis uses low-level current to drive charged compounds across the skin. This review discusses progress made in the field of iontophoretic transport of small and large molecules. The major obstacles are also touched upon and advances made in the last few decades described. A number of iontophoretic systems approved for clinical use by regulatory authorities is also discussed. © 2015 Taylor and Francis.


Gugliucci A.,Touro College
Clinica Chimica Acta | Year: 2014

Background: We hypothesize that during high density lipoprotein (HDL) remodeling PON1 reaches an optimal distribution in HDL subclasses by which it achieves maximum activity. We conducted this study to gain insight on PON1 fate and activation during short-term HDL remodeling ex vivo. Methods: Serum from 8 healthy volunteers was either frozen at - 80. °C (time 0) or incubated under sterile conditions for up to 48. h at 37. °C or at 4. °C. Aliquots were taken at 3, 6, 9, 24 and 48. h and immediately frozen at - 80. °C. PON1 activities were measured, as well as PON1 and apolipoprotein distributions in HDL subclasses by gradient gel electrophoresis. Results: The first novel finding in our study is the evidence provided for a significant activation of both lactonase and arylesterase activities of PON1 that ensues in a very short time frame of incubation of serum ex vivo at 37°C. All subjects studied displayed these changes, the activation was apparent in <3h, peaked at 6h and amounted to >20%. This is associated with a temperature and time-dependent redistribution of PON1 activity in HDL subclasses, with an increase in activity in both very large HDL2 and small HDL3 in the first phase (3-9h), followed by a progressive transfer of PON1 to very large HDL2 as the particles mature. These changes are paralleled by the appearance of weak, but apparent PON1 activity at subspecies that correspond to sdLDL. During the first phase of PON1 activation and shifts, a parallel shift of apoE can be evidenced: at 3-9h, apoE increases in sdLDL, after that time it is lost from HDL and also from sdLDL and stays in VLDL at the origin of the run. ApoA-I shifts towards larger particles, which parallels the change in PON1. As HDL matures there is a progressive shift of apoA-II towards larger HDL. Low levels of apoA-IV at the initiation of the incubation are followed by time dependent quick disappearance of apoA-IV in HDL which parallels the changes in PON1, apoE and A-II. Conclusion: Short, ex vivo incubation of serum leads to quick activation of PON1 associated with transfers to HDL3c, large HDL and sdLDL. The process is blocked by CETP and LCAT inhibitors. The data suggest that HDL maturation optimizes PON1 activity. These findings may be of interest for future studies aimed at modulating PON-1 activity for its cardioprotective effects and suggest a new mechanism whereby CETP inhibitors failed in clinical trials. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: Biological Anthropology | Award Amount: 72.54K | Year: 2016

Among the fundamental questions about human origins is how our hominin ancestors lived. This study uses a multidisciplinary approach (paleontology, paleoecology, comparative anatomy, experimental biology) to ask questions about how extinct populations of hominins behaved on their natural landscapes. Specifically, the investigators will analyze lower jaws (mandibles), among the most commonly represented parts of the skeleton in the early human fossil record, of modern great apes and two early species of extinct hominins (Autralopithecus), to understand how the structure of the mandible is related to changes in feeding behavior and diet. The research will provide new data about how changes in diet and feeding behavior transformed our anatomy across time, permitting more robust explanations of the processes by which we became human. Broader impacts will include undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral training in the latest analytical techniques for fossil analyses; outreach to primary and secondary school science teachers and students using hands-on experiences and web-based content designed to enhance teaching and learning about human origins; and the production of a unique collection 3D data for modern apes and rare fossil specimens that will be available to the scientific community.

Mandibles are the most common element in the hominin fossil record after teeth; they are used to diagnose species, test phylogenetic hypotheses, and infer feeding behavior and diet. However, extensive theoretical and experimental work on extant primates has not clarified which aspects of variation in mandibular form are related to variation in the positions of the tooth row, jaw muscles and jaw joint, which are related to the mandibles resistance to internal forces, and how these relate to feeding behavior and diet. Furthermore, the classical consensus on the relationship between dentognathic morphology and diet in Plio-Pleistocene hominins - adaptation to processing mechanically resistant foods - has been challenged by recent inferences from dietary isotopes, occlusal microwear, and finite element modeling, which do not converge on a shared view of early hominin diets and feeding behavior. This lack of consensus is especially glaring in light of the rich fossil record of mandibles for the Australopithecus anamensis-A. afarensis lineage (4.2-3.0 Ma), which documents clear changes in dentognathic morphology and carbon-isotope signatures over time. The primary focus of the proposed research is an integrative investigation of how spatial and mechanical determinants of mandibular form track change in diet and feeding behavior in extant hominids (great apes and humans) and early Australopithecus. The research is organized under three specific aims: 1. Quantifying and comparing the location, magnitude and nature of external and internal morphological variation in mandibles of extant (Homo, Pongo, Pan, and Gorilla) and fossil (A. anamensis, A. afarensis) hominids via computed tomography and geometric morphometrics; 2. Testing specific hypotheses about the biomechanical significance of variation in hominid mandibular morphology via finite-element models; and 3. Evaluating the extent to which spatial positioning of masticatory system components (tooth row, jaw joint, and muscle attachment points) explain variation in mandibular morphology across extant hominids and early Australopithecus. The project will provide new data on the structural and functional determinants of early hominin mandibular morphology, to help identify the factors that drove these morphological changes and allow tests of adaptive hypotheses about the early evolution of the genus.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Biological Anthropology | Award Amount: 224.28K | Year: 2016

Studying muscle can help us to understand the diets of early humans and other extinct primates. Jaw-muscle fiber types play an important role in fine-tuning the jaw muscles for specific motor tasks such as chewing and powerful biting. This research will study jaw-muscle fiber types across a range of primate species and use those data to test three hypotheses about the evolution of jaw muscle patterns in primates. Results of this work will provide new insights into the relationship between muscle and diet by i) increasing knowledge about the behavioral and ecological factors that shape feeding-system anatomy; ii) advancing our understanding of how jaw-muscle fiber types and whole muscle anatomy work together to generate the jaw movements and jaw forces necessary during feeding and aggressive biting; and (iii) refining models of chewing biomechanics in living and fossil primates. A central component of this work includes the training and mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, including women and underrepresented minorities, in state-of-the-art methods for muscle fiber typing. In addition, results will be incorporated in community outreach programs aimed at exposing primary school girls to science. Lastly, this project will generate a unique collection of digital images and slides of muscle tissue that will be made available to the scientific community for teaching and research.

The jaw-closing muscles are the motors of the masticatory system. Collectively, these muscles are responsible for generating the jaw movements and forces associated with feeding behaviors as well as non-feeding oral behaviors such as aggressive biting and wide-mouth opening for canine threat display. While fiber architecture is an important determinant of whole muscle function, its functional and adaptive significance cannot be fully appreciated in the absence of information on fiber type. This lack of data on primate fiber phenotype limits 1) knowledge about variation in jaw-muscle fiber phenotype; 2) the functional significance of this variation for behavior and performance; and 3) the specificity with which we can model and test hypotheses of feeding-system function and performance in both living and fossil species. To provide a more complete framework for linking measures of primate masticatory anatomy and physiology with function and performance, the investigators will collect and analyze novel data on jaw-muscle fiber type composition and distribution in select, closely related species of strepsirrhine and anthropoid primates that diverge in a key feeding or biting behavior. The data collected will be used to: (i) quantify the myosin heavy chain (MHC) fiber type composition and distribution in primate jaw-closing muscles using state-of-the-art immunohistochemistry; (ii) test three key functional and adaptive hypotheses that have been advanced to explain the evolution of fiber phenotype in mammalian jaw muscles: the frequent recruitment hypothesis, the aggressive bite hypothesis, and the high occlusal force hypothesis; and (iii) assess the correspondence among fiber phenotype, fiber architecture and leverage with the goal of refining models of masticatory biomechanics. This project will provide novel data on the contractile proteins found in primate jaw-closing muscles, advance knowledge of the ecological and behavioral factors that drove changes in the primate jaw-muscle fiber phenotype, and yield new insights into how key components of feeding-system morphology such as fiber architecture, fiber phenotype and leverage combine to facilitate or constrain feeding behavior in primates, including species that have been advanced as models for interpreting feeding behavior and diet in early human ancestors.

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