UT College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences News

Posts Tagged ‘ACS’

Dr. Erhardt gives talk at national medicinal chemistry meeting

The Center for Drug Design and Development’s director, Dr. Paul Erhardt, spoke at the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry’s (IUPAC) Medicinal Chemistry Division meeting, held in conjunction with the American Chemical Society’s Medicinal Chemistry meeting, in Nashville.

He delivered a presentation that summarized completion of a long-time IUPAC project pertaining to “Glossary and tutorial of xenobiotic metabolism terms used during small molecule drug discovery and development,” which has also been submitted as a 200-page document for publication in Pure and Applied Chemistry

Sister to Sister: Science runs in the family


Yasmine and Samar Ayoub in the laboratory of Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich

For Yasmine and Samar Ayoub, research and patient care are a family affair. Yasmine is a P2 PharmD student, and her sister Samar is a high school student who plans to become a physician.

Samar attends high school in Sylvania, Ohio and, through a Department of Chemistry grant from the American Chemical Society Project Seed Program and the National Science Foundation, she is conducting a summer research project in the laboratory of Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, associate professor of medicinal chemistry. She initially became interested in science and research through a local Women in Science program she attended in seventh grade. Yasmine, who had taken a class with Dr. Bryant-Friedrich, suggested that Samar work with Dr. Bryant-Friedrich on a research project.

“Dr. Amanda was my professor for Med Chem II, so I was familiar with her teaching style and eagerness to help students understand topics that may be more difficult to comprehend. I thought that it would be a good idea for my sister to learn the basics of organic chemistry at such a young age so that once she begins college, the material won’t be as foreign to her as it was to me,” Yasmine said.

Both sisters benefitted from early exposure to laboratory science through high school coursework. In these courses, they were able to design experiments and apply their findings to real-world problems. As a high school senior, Samar has already gained quite a bit of laboratory experience and participated in symposia. Samar has enjoyed receiving feedback from academics regarding her high school research projects and has used their advice to plot a career path. Her summer research with Dr. Bryant-Friedrich allowed her to delve deeper.

“I had the freedom to make my own decisions on how I want my experiment to go, even though it was my first time being exposed to organic chemistry and the synthesis of molecules,” Samar said. “Having an expert like Dr. Amanda ask what I want to do, allowing me to control the experiment, truly was an honor. I also enjoyed analyzing my results. Trying to figure out what exactly my compound was and using tools such as NMRs and mass spectroscopy allowed me to try to put all the puzzle pieces together to see exactly what I was looking for.”

When she entered college in 2011, Yasmine chose pharmacy because of the diversity of career choices within pharmacy and the opportunity to educate patients as a way of improving patient health. At UT, she has conducted research on cancer, green tea polyphenols and inflammation in the laboratory of Malathi Krishnamurthy (Department of Biological Science). In ten years, Yasmine would like to be a practicing pharmacist who conducts oncology research.

“I hope to see more patient/pharmacist interactions throughout the years. In addition, I plan to continue on with research to play a role in a medical breakthrough,” Yasmine said.

The Ayoub sisters have other health professionals in their family. Their cousin is a cardiologist in Miami, Florida, and their aunt is a pharmacist. Yasmine believes in the importance of role models, particularly for women in science.

“It is important to have someone to look up to for motivation for success, even when it may seem difficult. My mom and dad are my role models,” Yasmine said.

A budding researcher hones her skills at UTCPPS

India Turner


When DNA is damaged by environmental agents, medications or through physiological conditions of the cell, its structure changes.  The degree of this change and its impact on biological processes involving enzyme or protein recognition relates to the stability of the double helix characteristic of DNA.  India Turner, a senior at Central Catholic High School, investigated the effects of these changes on small DNA strands.  She utilized state- of-the-art biological and chemical techniques and instrumentation housed in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences to accomplish her goals.  This work was an important contribution to a large initiative in Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich’s laboratory to understand the impact of oxidative damage to DNA on the formation of DNA-protein complexes.  The damage is a primary cause of the development of cancer.

This research experience was funded by the American Chemical Society Project SEED Program. This program is facilitated by a grant received from ACS by the Department of Chemistry at the University of Toledo.  Additional funds were from the National Science Foundation.  Project SEED is a program especially designed to allow high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to perform cutting edge research.  With ACS money and matching funds from grants and donations, each student is paid a stipend of $2,800 for full-time laboratory research for 8-10 weeks.  Students may participate in the program for two years, and in doing so become eligible to apply for special college scholarships from ACS.

Student publication: Buthina Abdallah

Buthina Abdallah
Buthina Abdallah

Buthina Abdallah, a graduate student who is mentored by Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, was featured in newsletter of the American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Toxicology. The society, which granted her travel funds to a recent meeting, also published her meeting report.  Read more