Future Medicines at MALTO
3 Rising Researchers Recognized at UHCOP-hosted 48th Annual Regional Scientific Meeting
May 29 — Two doctoral program students and a postdoctoral researcher earned presentation awards at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy-hosted 48th Annual MALTO Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy Meeting-in-Miniature May 22-24 on the UH campus.
The organization comprises member institutions in the states of Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma (thus, "MALTO"). Launched in 1974 by now-UHCOP Professor Emeritus Thomas L. Lemke and colleagues at institutions across the South-Central U.S., MALTO was based on program established across Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas and Illinois (MIKI) in the 1960s. The first MALTO meeting was held in Houston and hosting duties rotate among member institutions.
This year's meeting drew nearly 60 graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and faculty members/advisors from nine institutions to present and share knowledge and discoveries in the fields of medicinal chemistry – the identification, synthesis and development of chemical entitites for therapeutic use – and pharmacognosy – medicines derived from natural sources such as plants, animals and microbes.
At the meeting's conclusion, three rising researchers were recognized for excellence in their poster and podium presentations:
Robert A. Magarian Podium Presentation Award – "Novel Tubulin Inhibitors Overcome Paclitaxel Resistant Prostate Cancer and Cross the Blood Brain Barrier to Treat Breast Cancer Brain Metastasis" by Kelli Hartman of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.
Thomas L. Lemke Outstanding Poster Presentation Award – "Discovery of a One-pot Method to Synthesize α,α-Difluoro-β-amino Ketones (ADBAKs) from α-Amidosulfones and Difluoroenolates" by Baharul Islam of the University of Mississippi.
Ronald F. Borne Postdoctoral Poster Presentation Award – "Implications for Clinical Translation: Discovery of Novel VEGFR2 Inihibitor to Potentiate Sorafenib's Antiangiogenic Effects on Hepatocellular Carcinoma" by Ishaq Khan, Ph.D., from the Texas A&M University Irma Rangel School of Pharmacy and Khyber Medical University (Pakistan) Institute of Basic Medical Sciences.
'Knowns and Unknowns'
The meeting also featured "Bridging Known and Unknown Unknowns: From Natural Products to Unmet Needs in Neuroscience" by Stephen F. Martin, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and M. June and J. Virgil Waggoner Regents Chair in Chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin, for the 34th Annual A. Nelson Voldeng Memorial Lecture.
In addition, former UH faculty member Harold "Hal" Kohn, Ph.D., professor emeritus at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was invited to provide reflections on his career as part of the program. Kohn was recognized with a Lifetime Achivement Award by UHCOP a few days before the meeting.