Pharmacy Students Learn Product Development in TIP – Summer 2021 – UConn Today

The School of Pharmacy has again enabled pharmacy students to take part in UConn’s Technology Incubation Program (TIP).  The internships provide students opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge and experience with technology commercialization while supporting each company’s initiatives.

Caroline Dealy, Ph.D. is the TIP Fellows Program Lead and Founder Director. She says:  “Since 2012 the program has provided over 200 UConn students with immersive summer research experiences in technology innovation and entrepreneurship, by pairing them with host startup companies located in UConn’s technology incubators in Storrs, Farmington, or Stamford. The program offers unique opportunity for students to engage in real-world, cutting edge research in the focused setting of a startup company, where they can appreciate both the business and the technology that drive innovation. As an academia-industry partnership, funding for the student’s fellowships is provided by the Deans of UConn’s schools and colleges. Over the past six years, the School of Pharmacy has generously sponsored summer fellowships for twelve Pharmacy and Pharm.D. students, who have leveraged their TIP research experiences towards pharmacy-related careers in the biotech industry as well as in the clinic.”

This summer the School has three pharmacy students in the program, two at Encapsulate LLC and one at Oneness Technologies LLC.  Both companies are based in Farmington Connecticut.

Encapsulate LLC

UConn School of Pharmacy student Roxanna Monshi works in the laboratory of startup Encapsulate, part of the Technology Incubation Program (TIP) at UConn Health in Farmington on June 22, 2021 (Tina Encarnacion/UConn Health photo)

Founder/CEO: Armin Tahmasbi Rad, Ph.D., ’19 (ENG)  Encapsulate co-founder and CEO

About Encapsulate: “Encapsulate produces automated tumor-on-a-chip systems that can grow patients’ cancer cells outside the body, and test the efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs against them to advocate for the best course of treatment. With this technology the oncologist can choose the most effective chemotherapy drug prior to treatment on an individualized basis.

Every year, we have had the privilege to work with UConn’s most talented students from the School of Pharmacy, School of Engineering, and School of Business. I truly enjoyed how our two interns from the School of Pharmacy, Saba and Roxanna, brought their pharmaceutical knowledge and expertise, and contributed to our product development significantly.” Armin Tahmasbi Rad

The summer 2021 team at Encapsulate, a startup company in the Technology Incubation Program (TIP) at UConn Health in Farmington, Connecticut on July 22, 2021.  L-R:  Farnoosh Saeedinejad, (UConn Ph.D. candidate Biomedical Engineering) research associate, Saba Azam, Roxanna Monshi, and Tahmasbi Rad (Tina Encarnacion/UConn Health)

UConn Students assisting summer 2021:

Saba Azam (Pharm.D. candidate, 2023)

“My work at Encapsulate has been a combination of both my pharmaceutical background and the technology that Dr. Rad had developed here. The Tumor on the Chip technology can be successfully used for many improvements in Oncological patient care. I wanted to take that idea and use the technology to work with different drug  concentrations and visually see how effective they are. What is amazing is that the patient samples allow us to possibly provide individualized treatment plans for the future with some proof that the treatment will work.” – Saba Azam

Roxannna Monshi (Pharm.D. candidate, 2023)

“While working with the team at Encapsulate, I have been assisting in innovating a tumor on a chip device that will test different drugs or chemotherapeutics on real patient tumor cells to examine their efficacy on its metastasis. This will give beneficial information to cancer patients and oncologists on more optimal therapies personalized to their tumor cells prior to administering them. One of my favorite aspects of working with Encapsulate this summer is knowing that the work I am involved in now could potentially be making a direct positive impact on patient care and their survival rates in the future.” – Roxanna Monshi

Oneness Technologies LLC

UConn School of Pharmacy Student Sarah Erlingheuser prepares to enter the clean room in the laboratory of Oneness, a startup company in the Technology Incubation Program (TIP) at UConn Health in Farmington, Connecticut on July 22, 2021. (Tina Encarnacion/UConn Health)

Founder/CEO: Neha Chavan, Ph.D., Founder

About Oneness Technologies: “Oneness Technologies is a biopharmaceutical company offering ultra-high bioavailability drug delivery systems and developing plant derived therapeutics for FDA approval. The vision of Oneness is to create a new dimension of medicine by synthesizing the best of pharmaceutical technology with the knowledge of the ancient plant-based medicine traditions of Asia and the Americas. Our core technology, Oneness OS, is utilized by leading cannabis and CBD companies in the United States to create innovative cannabis products such as beverages, tinctures, edibles, and topical creams.

Working with the summer TIP fellows has been a tremendous experience for Oneness. Their young minds have been extraordinarily quick learning and adaptable to the incredibly fast-paced trajectory of Oneness over the summer. As a company disrupting large industries such as cannabis and pharmaceuticals, young talent is extremely valuable as they are very receptive to our innovative ways of working which are very different than the status quo. Both Sarah and Phoebe learned very quickly and contributed great value to our various high impact projects over the summer. ” – Neha Chavan

UConn Student assisting summer 2021:

Sarah Erlingheuser, (Pharm.D. candidate ’23)

“I help Oneness create palatable and stable cannabis drinks and analyze them to ensure they have a superior, pharmaceutical grade quality. I also conduct product research and literature reviews regarding cannabis and its therapeutic effects for Oneness.  Working with Oneness allowed me to see the process of building your own small business and what resources are required.  My experience with Oneness also made me more open minded to the possibility of entering the industrial side of pharmacy.”  – Sarah Erlingheuser

UConn School of Pharmacy Student Sarah Erlingheuser works in the laboratory of Oneness, a startup company in the Technology Incubation Program (TIP) at UConn Health in Farmington, Connecticut on July 22, 2021. (Tina Encarnacion/UConn Health)

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