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Six Years Strong

PPS Research Symposium Showcases Diverse State-of-the-Science Projects from Graduate Students, Postdoctoral Associates 

More than simply a "status update" on current research activities at UH College of Pharmacy, the Pharmacological and Pharmaceuticals Sciences (PPS) Research Symposium is an crossroads for interacting with curious and driven minds in dogged pursuit of life-saving and -changing medical and scientific discoveries.

Much of the focus of the symposium is on poster and podium presentations by PPS Ph.D. students, postdoctoral fellows, and others performing experiments in PPS labs, with 45 abstracts covering a range of investigations from cancer, obesity, diabetes to cardiovascular disease submitted for this year's event, Aug. 9-10 in the Rockwell Pavilion of UH's MD Anderson Library. 

After tallying the votes from a panel of judges outside of the college, awards for the top rated posters and podium talks are presented. 

The 2018 symposium presentations were: 

Grad Student PodiumSuchi Raghunathan, 1st place for "Reprogramming human cardiac progenitor cells into pacemaker cells for heart repair," and Amer Alali, 2nd place for "A comparative pharmacokinetic study of BPR0L075 loaded polymeric nanoparticles in mice using LC/MS/MS method";

Grad Student Poster – Pavan Chityala, 1st place for "Protective effect of soy isoflavone-enriched dietary supplement on irinotecan-induced steatosis and diarrhea in mice," and Tasha Womack, 2nd place for "Effects of prostacyclin signaling on Alzheimer’s disease associated-pathologies"; and 

Postdoc Podium – Aaron Raymond, Ph.D., 1st place for "Validation of plectin as a cancer stem cell (CSC) biomarker and potential drug target in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)," and Lei Wu, Ph.D. ('14), 2nd place for "Development of a best-fit pharmacokinetic model of irinotecan and its active metabolite, SN-38, in mice with and without Inflammation."

In addition, the symposium featured Raghu Kalluri, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Cancer Biology, R.E. "Bob" Smith Chair for Cancer Research and director of the Metastasis Research Center at MD Anderson Cancer Center as its honorary Scholar-in-Residence. Kalluri's presentations – "Biology and Function of Tumor Stroma and Exosomes in Pancreatic Cancer" and "Lessons Learned During My Journey as a Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Fellow" – offered insights into his research and his professional development.