Pharmacy professor’s passion reaps rewards

The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists honored Florida A&M University pharmaceutical professor of basic sciences Mandip Sachdeva for his outstanding contributions and professional excellence.

Sachdeva has been recognized for developing research of new molecular pathways intended for treatments of lung cancer and skin irritations.

After working at a pharmaceutical company in Canada for four years Sachdeva decided it was time for a change. He had the desire to move toward academics. After being informed that FAMU’s pharmacy program needed some assistance, Sachdeva made Tallahassee his destination.

“I believe a difference could be made if better opportunities were offered and utilized,” Sachdeva said.

When he first came to FAMU 14 years ago, Sachdeva said the pharmaceutics department did not have many active students, and there were no labs to experiment in.

With the understanding that the program could be better, Sachdeva set out to improve the curriculum.

“My goal was to offer more courses that would better prepare the students and place more faculty in the area,” Sachdeva said.

Sachdeva has done more than help enhance the pharmacy program. He has also made many discoveries and contributions dealing with lung cancer, breast cancer, regal cancer, leukemia and a skin disease known as psoriasis.

His main focus is creating safe drugs that contain protein and have less toxicity. Sachdeva said he more tolerable drugs.

“I want to increase the oral use of drugs and I want them to have a more efficient effect,” Sachdeva said.

Being the section leader of pharmaceutics is not the only thing that occupies his time. He has more than 90 publications. Sachdeva is on the editorial board of several journals as well as the chief editor of the Critical Reviews in Therapeutic Drug Carrier Systems Board Journal. In addition, he has written more than five book chapters in scientific books and a chapter of a textbook used by the pharmacy students at FAMU.

Over the years Sachdeva has been rewarded for all of his hard work. Some of his honors include an international lifetime achievement award and the 2004 Davis Proclivity Distinguished Category Award given by the state of Florida. FAMU has honored him with Teacher of the Year and Advanced Teacher of the Year.

“Many of our professors and scientists here at FAMU have made a significant contribution in research. We appreciate his work,” said James L. Moran Jr., coordinator of advancement for the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science.

Sachdeva’s research sometimes requires a lot of time away from his family.

“When I have to come to work on the weekends, my kids believe my job requires me to work seven days a week,” he said. “The solution to that problem is one must know how to balance work with his or her family. While at work his research team becomes his ‘family.’ ”

Patience is needed because sometimes during experiments one will fail and have to begin the entire process over again, he said. But it has taught him many lessons.

“Failing and rethinking the process leads to a pillar of success later on,” Sachdeva said.

There were times when he got discouraged but said he did not want to give up because he wanted to continue being a motivational figure for the students.

“He brings out the best in us and pushes his students to do their best,” said Rita Gayed, a second-year pharmacy student from Egypt.

Sachdeva and research team are currently working on gene delivery. He does not see retirement in the near future.

“I want to work until the day I die,” he said.