UT College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences News

Posts Tagged ‘science’

Planning the 2013 Graduate Research Forum

By Aparna Raghavan, a Medicinal Chemistry PhD candidate

The Council of Biomedical Graduate Students (CBGS) organized the Graduate Research Forum for graduate students all around the university. Our college, a recently added member of this council, showed active participation at the event. As

Dr. Copeland (third from left) with members of the CPPS faculty

Dr. Copeland (third from left) with members of the CPPS faculty

a representative of our college, I had a great time organizing an event of such magnitude. We began planning this event in October 2012 to ensure smooth progression. Requests for keynote speakers were sent out, and we had many a nail-biting moments before confirming our keynote speaker for this year, Dr. Robert Copeland. Dr. Copeland is the Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at Epizyme, Inc., a company focused on personalized therapeutics for cancer and rare diseases.

The GRF has always featured poster presentations by graduate students belonging to the biomedical sciences program. This year, we decided to incorporate oral presentations as well. Though this might seem a minor addition, handling both a job that required meticulous planning. We began by sending out surveys to determine whether students were interested in the new format, and were taken aback by the nearly unanimous positive response. However, since this was our first year handling both formats, we decided to limit the number of oral presenters. What followed was a flurry of requests for registration and abstract submissions, which gave us an idea of the volume we could expect. Next, we needed judges for appraising the presentations. We sent out college-wide emails to faculty members and post-doctoral fellows requesting for them to team up as judges for the event. Here again, we couldn’t have asked for a better response. Slowly but steadily, the elements of the event fell into place.

The day before the event was spent setting up poster boards and banners, printing judging sheets and, yes, taking care of food arrangements. By the end of the day, with all contingency plans in place, things were proceeding as predicted except for one surprise: the huge response from students and faculty members at 8 a.m. on first the morning of the conference. We were shocked at the nearly 100 attendees who were neither presenters nor judges. Of the 36 poster presenters, 8 were from the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Our debut with the oral sessions was well-received and appreciated by many faculty members.

Student semi-finalist

Hasan Alhaddad, a second-year master’s student working in the lab of pharmacology assistant professor Dr. Youssef Sari, was a semifinalist in the poster session at the 2013 Graduate Research Forum

The second day of the event was even more exciting, with the final round of the poster Graduate Research Forum and oral presentations judged by Dr. Copeland and Dr. Doug Leaman (Chair of the UT College of Biological Sciences). Graduate students also participated in a candid discussion with the judges over lunch. Finally, an eloquent keynote speech by Dr. Copeland to an audience packed to the rafters, followed by the prize-distribution to the proud winners, was a great end to the biggest event of the year for our council.

Overall, the forum immersed us all in science for two whole days, surprisingly in a way we don’t encounter in our daily laboratory work. It compelled us to open up to different perspectives on the challenges we face as fellow members of the scientific community.

We are immensely grateful to the faculty members and post-doctoral fellows for their constant support and feedback.  We are also thankful for the generous support of our sponsors: the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the College of Graduate Studies, and the Graduate Student Association. Lastly, this event would not have been possible without the overwhelming response from graduate students. We hope for an even more successful event next year!


Off to Harvard They Go

Harvard Drug, that is.  Three students in the BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) program will complete their summer internships at The Harvard Drug Group, a national distributor of generic and branded pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter medications and supplements, respiratory medications, and compounding supplies.

The Harvard Drug Group awarded nationally competitive internship positions to Hemali Joshi, who will work in the Letco Division in Decatur, Alabama, as well as Trevor Eaton and Antonia Chavez, who will work in Livonia, Michigan in the Major Pharmaceuticals and Harvard Distribution divisions, respectively. Remarkably, they will earn $800 per week for their work as interns.

The students will complete 10-week internships in their respective areas, gaining valuable knowledge and skills that will facilitate their placement in the workforce after graduation. The goal of the BSPS internship program is to prepare students to enter the workforce following graduation, and employers in the pharmaceutical sciences are recruiting heavily for the types of positions BSPS students can enter upon graduation.

2012 State of the College Address

At this year’s Donor Recognition and Scholarship Dinner, which recognizes students who have earned CPPS scholarships and honors the donors who established the scholarships, Dean Early presented the 2012 State of the College address, detailing the year’s accomplishments and challenges the college faces. Among the college’s significant achievements was the recent reaccreditation of the PharmD program with six commendations. The college was among the first in the nation to earn an eight-year accreditation cycle instead of six years, which was once the maximum. In addition to this achievement, two new academic programs will be offered by the college, the PhD in Experimental Therapeutics and the Cosmetic Science major in the B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences program.

See the college’s 2012 Annual Executive Report and Summary

August 2011 Refill e-newsletter

The August 2011 Refill is now available online. Please enjoy news from the UT College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (UTCPPS).

For students preparing to come back to campus, the Two Campuses, One Future booklet for Fall 2011 is now available online.

In this issue:

  • Dr. Wall collaborates on cancer treatment
  • Exploring Pharmacy: High school students
  • Alumni Focus: Dr. Paul Abramowitz, ‘77
  • Student Features: Alaina Schnapp and India Turner
  • Faculty Notes: Drs. Sari and Pinto
  • Upcoming Events

July 2011 Refill e-Newsletter

The July 2011 Refill is now available online. Please enjoy news from the UT College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (UTCPPS).

In this issue:

  • UT Outstanding Teacher, Dr. Kim Schmude
  • UT Outstanding Adviser, Dr. Christine Hinko
  • Frederic and Mary Wolfe Center Dedication
  • Student Feature: Buthina Abdalla
  • Residency Programs Meet Their Match
  • Faculty Notes: Drs. Nauli and Williams
  • Upcoming Events

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

Dr. Shah publishes in Neuroscience journal

Dr. Shah

Dr. Shah

Dr. Zahoor Shah, assistant professor of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry along with Shadia E. Nada and Sylvain Dore, was recently published in Neuroscience journal.

Their article, entitled “Heme oxygenase 1, beneficial role in permanent ischemic stroke and in Gingko biloba (EGb 761) neuroprotection,” details how Gingko biloba shows protective effects against ischemic stroke.

Dr. Paul Erhardt receives international honor

Erhardt (right)

Erhardt (right)

During his attendance for the delivery of an invited plenary lecture at the International Conference on Chemistry for Mankind held in Nagpur, India on February 9-11, 2011, Dr. Paul Erhardt, director of the Center for Drug Design and Development, was honored by being one of two recipients who received the  Innovation in Medicinal Chemistry Award. The conference was hosted by the Indian Society of Chemists and Biologists in collaboration with the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Royal Society of Chemistry and American Chemical Society. Dr. Erhardt was honored in front of an audience of over 500 attendees, including several international dignitaries. He was presented with a shawl, symbolic of ‘carrying the burden’ of the efforts required to advance today’s practice of science in innovative ways; an engraved glass trophy commemorating both the conference and his award; an engraved medallion; a wrapped fruit indigenous to the Nagpur region, which is known for its oranges; and finally, the framed official certificate recognizing his award.

Dr. Zahoor Shah’s research shows that dark chocolate can prevent stroke damage


Dr. Zahoor Shah is currently conducting research on the preventative nature of Ginkgo biloba on stroke damage.

A few bites of dark chocolate a day can help prevent extensive brain injury from a stroke, according to research by Dr. Zahoor Shah, UT assistant professor of medicinal and biological chemistry in the College of Pharmacy.

Read more