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Each week, the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy will highlight the bold work of researchers who have received funding from the Eshelman Institute for Innovation (EII). The Eshelman Institute for Innovation is made possible by a $100 million gift from Fred Eshelman to accelerate the creation and development of ideas leading to discoveries and transformative changes in education, research and health care. To learn more about the EII’s impact, visit

Meet: Kristy Ainslie

Project: Long Acting Formulations for HIV Therapy

Funded Amount: $50,000

About Project: Researchers combined (separately) two HIV drugs with a fatty acid (Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – commonly taken by pregnant women). This attachment can be separated resulting in a HIV drug that can slowly be released over time, compared to how it is currently given in a tablet. They can deliver it approximately once per a month in an injectable compared to multiple times orally as a tablet.  Moreover, they showed that this version of the drug enters the cell better, allowing for more drug to enter the cell and combat HIV.

“For me, this was an amazing opportunity to work again with Dean Kashuba and learn more about HIV pharmacokinetics and metabolism from her. She is so exceedingly knowledgeable in the field and I have learned a wealth of information in the field from her through this project and a previous long acting HIV project I have published with her.”

Researchers on project: Sai ArchanaKrovi, Matthew D.Gallovic, Austin M.Keller, Menakshi Bhat, Pamela Tiet, Naihan Chen, Michael A.Collier, Elizabeth G.Gurysh, Erica N.Pino, Monica M. Johnson, M.Shamim Hasan Zahid, Mackenzie L.Cottrell, Jason R.Pirone, Angela D.Kashuba, Jesse J.Kwiek, Eric M.Bachelder, and Kristy M.Ainslie.

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