Directory Profile

Lisa Cencia Rohan, PhD

Phone: 412-383-1084 or 412-641-6108

Fax: 412-641-6170



Dr. Rohan is a Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the School of Pharmacy. She also holds appointments in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences in the School of Medicine and the Clinical Translational Science Institute at the Univerisity of Pittsburgh.  Additionally, she is an Investigator at the Magee Womens Research Institute.  Dr. Rohan serves as co-principal investigator for the Microbicide Trials Network Laboratory, an HIV/AIDS clinical trials network established by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). This network encompasses an international team of investigators and community and industry partners from seven countries and three continents. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from West Virginia University and a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy.  After completion of her Ph.D. work Dr. Rohan completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences in the area of Mucosal Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh. 

The basis of Dr. Rohan’s research lies in the area of drug delivery.  Her lab has a major focus in the design of mucosal drug delivery systems  including vaginal and cervical drug delivery as applied in the areas of infectious disease and gynecologic oncology. Particular interests are in studying the role of chemical, physical, and biological properties of mucosal tissues and fluids in pharmaceutical product development. The group has developed a number of biologically relevant dissolution methods which can assist in predicting product functionality in vivo.  An additional focus of the lab lies in generating a better understanding of drug transport and metabolism in the female lower reproductive tract and other mucosal tissues.  

The  Rohan Pharmaceutics Laboratory is involved in a number of stages of product development including preclinical drug candidate evaluation, formulation development, preclinical formulation assessment, scale-up, and introduction to early clinical trials.  The lab has developed a number of products which have been advanced through IND to Phase I clinical testing including several topical pre-exposure prophylactic products for use against Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV.  The work by her research team has also generated optimized imaging techniques for sentinel node identification in cervical cancer as well as novel delivery systems for chemotherapeutic agents.

Design and development of mucosal drug delivery systems.  Transitioning products from the bench to the clinic.

1. Fan M, Kramzer L, Hillier S, Chang J, Meyn L, Rohan L. Preferred Physical Characteristics of Vaginal Film Microbicides for HIV Prevention in Pittsburgh Women. Arch Sex Behav. 2016 Aug 29. PubMed PMID: 27571742. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5332429
2. Nixon B, Stefanidou M, Mesquita PM, Fakioglu E, Segarra T, Rohan L, Halford W, Palmer KE, Herold BC. Griffithsin protects mice from genital herpes by preventing cell-to-cell spread. J Virol. 2013 Jun; 87(11):6257-69. PubMed PMID: 23536670; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3648100.
3. Bunge KE, Dezzutti CS, Rohan LC, Hendrix CW, Marzinke MA, Richardson-Harman N, Moncla BJ, Devlin B, Meyn LA, Spiegel HM, Hillier SL. A Phase 1 Trial to Assess the Safety, Acceptability, Pharmacokinetics, and Pharmacodynamics of a Novel Dapivirine Vaginal Film. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2016 Apr 15;71(5):498-505. PubMed PMID: 26565716 PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5040830
4. Akil A, Parniak M, Dezzutti C, Moncla B, Cost M, Li M, Rohan LC. Development and characterization of a vaginal film containing dapivirine, a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI), for prevention of HIV-1 sexual transmission. Drug Deliv Transl Res. 2011 Jun 1; 1:209-222. PubMed PMID: 22708075; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3375737.
5.     Akil A, Agashe H, Dezzutti CS, Moncla BJ, Hillier SL, Devlin B, Shi Y, Uranker K, Rohan LC. Formulation and characterization of polymeric films containing combinations of antiretrovirals (ARVs) for HIV prevention. Pharm Res. 2015 Feb; 32(2):458-68. Pub Med PMID: 25079391; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4303527.
6. Akil A, Devlin B, Cost M, Rohan LC. Increased dapivirine tissue accumulation through vaginal film codelivery of dapivirine and tenofovir. Molecular Pharmaceutics. 2014 May 5; 11(5):1533-41. PubMed PMID 24693866; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4018102.
7. Zhang W, Parniak MA, Sarafianos SG, Cost MR, Rohan LC. Development of a vaginal delivery film containing EFdA, a novel anti-HIV nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor. Int J Pharm. 2014 Jan 30; 461(1-2):203-13. PubMed PMID: 24333452; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3976986.
8. Rinehart M, Grab S, Rohan L, Katz D, Wax A. Analysis of vaginal microbicide film hydration kinetics by quantitative imaging refractometry. PLoS One. 2014 April 15; 9 (4): e95005. PubMed PMID: 24736376; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3988224.
9.      Hu M, Patel SK, Zhou T, Rohan LC. Drug transporters in tissues and cells relevant to sexual transmission of HIV: Implications for drug delivery. J Control Release. 2015 Aug 13. PubMed PMID: 26278511. PMCID: PubMed Central PMC4656065
10. Zhou T, Hu M*, Pearlman AP*, Patton D, Rohan LC. Expression and localization of P-glycoprotein, multidrug resistance protein 4, and breast can.cer resistance protein in the female lower genital tract of human and pigtailed macaque. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2014 May PubMed PMID 24803409; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC24803409.
11. Dezzutti C, Richardson-Harman N, Rohan LC, Marzinke MA, Hoesley C, Panther L, Johnson S, Nuttall J, Nel A, Chen B. Pharmacodynamic correlations using fresh and cryopreserved tissue following use of vaginal rings containing dapivirine and/or maraviroc in a randomized, placebo controlled trial. Microbicide Trials Network, MTN-013IPM 026 Protocol Team. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Jul;95(28):e4174. PubMed PMID: 27428211. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4956805
12. Zhou T*, Hu M*, Cost M, Poloyac S, Rohan L. Expression of transporters and metabolizing enzymes in the female lower genital tract: Implications for microbicide research. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2013 May 17. PubMed PMID: 23607746. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3809391.

NIH UM1AI106707  Laboratory Center (LC): Microbicide Trials Network    PI
NIIH U19AI120249  Film Antirotroviral Microbicide Evaluation (FAME II) Program PI, PI: Project 1, Project 4, Core A
NIH U19AI113127  Development of Rectal Enema as Microbicide (DREAM) PI for Core C 
NIH U19AI113182 Griffithsin-Based Rectal Microbicides for Prevention of Viral Entry (PREVENT) PI of Core B
RTI International/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Subaward 0215535-65223L Thin-film Polymer Device Injectable for Prevention Program PI
FDA U01FD005447 A Biorelevant Dissolution Method for Particulate Dosage Forms in the Periodontal Pocket PI
Coulter Translational Research Partners (90028) HerShield a Product for HSV Prevention PI