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Contact: Paul C. DiNero

Studies Aim to Bridge between Science and Human Rights

UNION, NJ - Dr. Jeffrey Toney, dean of the College of Natural, Applied and Health Sciences at Kean University, is discovering how to bridge the gap between science and human rights. Toney, a resident of Scotch Plains, N.J., recently published two commentaries in support of his claim in Science, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Purposeful Learning with Drug Repurposing explores the possibility of using old drugs in new ways as an innovative approach to improve education and to reduce health care costs. The article is co-authored by Dr. Jeffry Fasick, in the Department of Biological Sciences at Kean, and Drs. Chris Beyrer, Sonal Singh and David Sullivan of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Advancing Human Rights Through Science describes how to engage students in science by using case studies, such as the cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe.

"Access to medications is a basic human right," said Toney. "Science and human rights are ideal partners to enhance student learning, since they span all the sciences as well as the humanities."

Toney, whose career has spanned both the pharmaceutical industry and academia, received an M.S. and Ph.D. in chemistry from Northwestern University. He is continuing research on drug discovery using an interdisciplinary approach. Prior to joining Kean, Toney served as a senior research fellow for Merck Research Laboratories. He is a standing member of the review panel, "Assay Development for High Throughput Molecular Screening" of the National Institutes of Health, Molecular Libraries and Imaging Initiative.

Toney is currently a member of the Editorial Board of Assay and Drug Development Technologies and is a sections editor for Current Opinion in Investigational Drugs. Toney holds six United States patents, has published 55 peer-reviewed articles and has written editorials for The New York Times and The Star-Ledger's NJ Voices.

Founded in 1855, Kean University has become one of the largest metropolitan institutions of higher education in the region, boasting a richly diverse student, faculty and staff population. While Kean continues to play a key role in the training of teachers, it is also a hub of educational, technological and cultural enrichment, offering more than 50 undergraduate degrees and more than 45 options leading to a masterís degree, doctorate, professional diploma and/or state certification(s). Five undergraduate colleges and the Nathan Weiss Graduate College now serve more than 14,000 students.