Research Day showcases cutting-edge discoveries in science

On August 12, current and future scientists gathered to show off their work at the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (CPPS) Research Day. The all-day event is a celebration of the broad range of research that is ongoing in the college, and an opportunity for trainees to obtain valuable presentation experience and feedback on their research.

“This day really shows the breadth of the cutting-edge research that is happening at the college,” said Pharmaceutical Sciences Interim Chair Kathryn Meier. “The energy and care that these students and their faculty mentors have put into their research really offers a glimpse into the future possibilities for improving human health. It is always rewarding to see how the students progress into scientists over he summer.”

The day began with keynote speaker Yadira Perez-Paramo who graduated from Washington State University with a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences in 2021. Her presentation was about the plethora of opportunities in science and how students can make the most out of their research careers.

Following the keynote, Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF), Summer Research Fellowship (SRF) and current CPPS graduate and professional students presented posters describing their research projects. In total, 24 posters were presented including two Research Honors students, Kenisha Garcia-Torres and Frederick Liendhard, who received feedback but were not judged. The posters are evaluated in three categories – 1) undergraduate, 2) professional and 3) graduate. Prizes are awarded for first and second place. Postdoctoral trainees and PharmD fellows give oral presentations which are also eligible for awards.

This year’s poster topics ranged from drugs to treat neurodegenerative diseases to prediction of drug response to the effects of death certificate misclassification.

The college would like to thank the following contributors who make Research Day possible through their generous donations:

Louise F. Holzer Darden Memorial Quasi-Endowment Research Fund

James & Diann Robbers Student Research Fund

Louise F. Holzer Darden Memorial Quasi-Endowment Research Fund

The SURF program is supported by a grant from the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

Oral presentations

Charles Mariasoosai “Allosteric modulation of Integrins by oxysterols”

Dilip Kumar Singh “Quantitative Proteomics for Characterizing Inter-tissue and Inter-individual Variability in Drug Metabolism and Response”

Sandhya Subash “Proteomics-informed improved IVIVE of aldehyde oxidase mediated drug metabolism”

SURF student poster winners:

Alexis Daniels received first place for the poster, “TNF-α Utilizes the Fn-14 Receptor in Human Rheumatoid Arthritis Synovial Fibroblast-induced Inflammation”

Abigail Edwards received second place for the poster, “Sex differences in the expression of hippocampal GluA1/GluA2 mRNA following ischemia/reperfusion”

Professional student poster winners:

Logan Wiley received first place for the poster, “In silico analysis of biased signaling in the serotonin 2A receptor.”

Malik Donlic received second place for the poster, “Understanding the effects of fluorine-containing fragments on physicochemical and pharmacokinetic properties of FDA-approved drugs.”

Graduate student poster winners:

Sheena Sharma tied with Paul Panipinto. Their research posters were “Poor and variable oral bioavailability of dimethandrolone (DMA), an investigational male hormonal contraceptive, is likely associated with UGT2B17 mediated first-pass metabolism” and “Pentagalloyl Glucose Inhibits MSU-Induced Inflammation via Transforming Growth Factor-β-Activated Kinase 1 (TAK1)” respectively.

Research Day serves as the culminating event for the SURF program. According to Meier, who serves as the director of the SURF/SRF program, SURF is an incredible opportunity for students to gain valuable experience in federally-funded research groups.

SURF provides a hands-on research experience for college students with demonstrated scientific aptitude who have expressed an interest in pursuing graduate studies and/or research careers in pharmaceutical, biomedical or health sciences. SURF students are given the opportunity to work with CPPS scientists on a project.

In recent years, Research Day has been expanded beyond just SURF students to include all trainees in the college, including Summer Research Fellowship (SRF), graduate, and professional students in the doctor of pharmacy program.