Student Named AFPE Gateway Scholar

August 31, 2015

Tyler Bucci, a third-year dual-degree student from Columbus, Ohio, was one of 10 students across the nation to be named a 2015 American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education (AFPE) Gateway to Research Scholar. The program seeks to increase the number of PharmD students who pursue a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences.

Bucci, who attended the University of Cincinnati before enrolling at UK, is pursuing both a PharmD and Master’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences from the College. She is on track to receive both degrees in 2017. The possibility to pursue her research interests is what attracted her to UK.

“I decided to come to the UK College of Pharmacy because of their excellence in pharmacy education and because of the research opportunities available to students,” said Bucci.

Her research is based out of the laboratory of Steven Van Lanen, an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. The goal of Bucci’s project is to study how the pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which is the primary cause of tuberculosis and remains one of the top killers worldwide, survives inside humans by maintaining a basal level of metabolism and evading the host’s natural defense mechanism.

“Ultimately, we hope to develop potent drugs that eradicate M. tuberculosis in this so-called persistence state, thus complementing the current anti-tuberculosis drug regimen that is only effective against actively replicating organisms,” said Dr. Van Lanen.