July 20, 2018
By Whitney Tarpy
OXFORD, Miss. – Pankaj Pandey, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, won the Ronald F. Borne Outstanding Postdoctoral Poster Presentation Award at the 45th Annual MALTO Meeting in College Station, Texas.
The MALTO conference, for medicinal and natural product chemists from Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas and Oklahoma, gives the Borne Award to one postdoctoral fellow at the conference each year based on their interview and research poster.
“I was pleasantly surprised when they announced my name,” Pandey said, who is originally from India. “I was very excited because this award is such an honor to receive.”
The Borne Award was created in honor of the late Ronald F. Borne, professor emeritus of medicinal chemistry at the UM School of Pharmacy. Borne joined the faculty in 1968 and retired nearly 40 years later in 2004. He won the university-wide Outstanding Teaching Award in 1970 and the School of Pharmacy’s Outstanding Teaching Award six times from 1982 to 1998.
Borne served as chair of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and as the university’s interim vice chancellor for research from 1998 to 2001.
“I traveled with Dr. Borne to this conference a few years ago and I would see him around when he worked at Ole Miss before his passing,” Pandey said. “Everyone talks so highly of him, and he was just great at what he did. I was so happy to receive this award because it made me think of him.”
Pandey studies under the guidance of Robert Doerksen, associate dean of the University of Mississippi Graduate School and associate professor of medicinal chemistry. Their research investigates the potential of natural products as a source of molecules that might interact with proteins to help treat obesity and diabetes.
“Pankaj is very enthusiastic about his research and talented at explaining it in a way that others can understand,” Doerksen said. “He plans and executes the challenging and ground-breaking research we do with a combination of inspiration and sheer hard work.”