More than 800 graduates were expected to take part in the ceremony that welcomed UMKC alumnus and Washington Nationals announcer Bob Carpenter (’75) as this year’s keynote speaker.

The School of Pharmacy graduates included Pratikkumar Patel, John Fetse and Krishna Veerubhotla. The three completed their final dissertations earlier this year.

Patel received his degree, graduating with more than 10-years of experience in chemistry and biology developing nanoparticle-based delivery systems and immunotherapy.

Patel’s dissertation, “Development of Amino Acid-Modified Drug Delivery Systems for RNA Delivery in Cancer Therapeutics,” discussed the development of Lipid nanoparticles using Amino acid-modified lipids to improve the biocompatibility of carriers and to utilize them in cancer therapeutics for siRNA-based treatment.

Fetse, a discovery scientist, graduates with expertise in peptide-based drug discovery and delivery for cancer immunotherapy. He has also served as a School of Pharmacy research assistant since 2018.

His dissertation focused on the discovery and delivery of peptide-based therapies that work by helping the immune system identify and kill cancer without the drug causing any gross toxicities in the body. Additionally, he explained that some of the peptides are amenable for oral dosing, meaning they can overcome the challenges associated with giving drugs by injection.

Veerubhotla is a pharmaceutical scientist and expert in formulation development with more than eight years of experience in developing preclinical candidates into modified dosage forms according to ICH/FDA guidance.

He joined UMKC in 2017 after receiving a master’s degree with distinction in pharmaceutics from Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. His dissertation research included the development of hydrogel-based cardiovascular stents using a 3D printing technique. The extrusion-based 3D printing technique made it feasible to customize cardiovascular stents that can efficiently minimize the unwanted effects.