Dyson Professor Receives International Patent

Dyson Digital Digest
Winter 2007


Pace University Associate Professor of Chemistry JaimeLee Iolani Rizzo, PhD, with co-inventors Robert Engel, PhD, Queens College, CUNY, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Geoffrey W. Abbott, PhD, Weill Cornell Medical College, Division of Pharmacology, were issued a patent for "Methods for Modulating Ion Channels" by the World International Property Organization in August 2006. The US patent submitted in 2005 is pending approval.

"We have patented a method for modulating potassium, sodium and cyclic nucleotide-modulated ion channels in mammals with diseases and conditions also found in humans," says Dr. Iolani Rizzo.

Potential use of this method is in medication that may aid patients who have cardiovascular diseases (arrhythmia, heart failure, coronary artery disease), hypertension, angina, asthma, urinary incontinence, cancer, fibrosis, atherosclerosis, and immune system diseases (autoimmune disorders) by regulating the transfer of ions across cell membranes through channels that transport sodium and potassium cations. The collaborators are in the planning stages of working with pharmaceutical companies that would develop a drug.

The Pace student research team includes:

  • Nancy Azcona, '07, biochemistry major
  • Christopher Chum '07, biochemistry major
  • Kristi Massey '08, chemistry major
  • Alvin Ngai '07, biochemistry major
  • James Nicotri '08, chemistry major
  • Susan Pun '07, biochemistry major
  • Megan Shevlin '09, biochemistry major
  • Ashish Thakkar '06, economics major, chemistry minor

as well as alumnae:

  • Tanya Abel '04, chemistry, research scientist at Johnson and Johnson
  • Renee Carrington, '05, biochemistry, second year doctoral student, biochemistry, University of Pennsylvania
  • Jasmine Escalera '05, biochemistry, second year doctoral student, pharmacology, Yale University
  • Teshell Greene '05, chemistry, second year doctoral student, pharmacology, University of Pennsylvania.

>> Visit the Web site for information about the patent.

>> Winter 2007 Cover Page

Student Research Team

Student Research Team
Left to right, front row: N. Azcona, S. Pun, J. Iolani Rizzo, PhD, K. Massey, M. Shevlin
Back row: J. Nicotri, A. Ngai, C. Chum
Not available: A. Thakkar, T Abel, R. Carrington, J. Escalera, T. Greene