photo of Pramod SrivastavaPramod Srivastava is a pharmaceutical drug development expert. He joined the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the WSU College of Pharmacy this year, where he is working on a drug discovery research team led by the department chair Philip Lazarus.

“Dr. Srivastava is an expert in drug screening and toxicology,” said Lazarus. “His main research focus at the College of Pharmacy has been to screen for novel compounds important in cancer prevention, and his work has led to several major soon-to-be-published discoveries.”

The team is hoping to develop novel compounds they can patent and then partner with others to help with the drug development process, which includes FDA approvals.

“Drug development is a very long process,” said Srivastava. “Right now we are at the very first step, which is selecting the best compounds.”

Srivastava grew up in India and received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Delhi. He came to the U.S. to study drug metabolism as a postdoctoral fellow at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee. Srivastava also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in drug metabolism and cancer biology at the University of California, Berkeley before going into a nine-year career as a research scientist in the drug industry.

“Studying drug metabolism gave me an interest in development, so I went to work in industry doing pre-clinical drug development,” said Srivastava.

Drug development involves taking new or known compounds through the process of becoming new drugs, which includes laboratory and clinical testing and multiple approvals through the FDA.

Prior to coming to the WSU Health Sciences campus in Spokane, Srivastava was a senior scientist at Cerep, Inc. in Redmond, Wash.

“The WSU campus in Spokane, especially the Pharmaceutical Sciences Department, is well equipped for conducting this specific project,” said Srivastava. “I am impressed with the talented faculty, staff and students, and the work environment.”

[Nov. 1, 2014] Lori J. Maricle