School of Pharmacy

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Research News

NCNPR Scientist Awarded for Parasitic Diseases Research

Babu Tekwani research award

Babu Tekwani, principal scientist in the University of Mississippi’s National Center for Natural Products Research and professor of pharmacology in the School of Pharmacy, was honored for his outstanding research contributions to global health drug discovery in tropical parasitic diseases at an international conference in León, Spain, on July 15.

He received the Distinguished Scientist Award at the inaugural conference “Global Challenges in Neglected Tropical Diseases,” hosted by the Universidad de León and Fundación General Universidad de León y Empresa.

Tekwani has researched neglected tropical parasitic diseases such as malaria, leishmaniasis…

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Professor Receives Third Honor from Kazakh University

rossA professor at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy was awarded a Silver Medal from Kazakh National Medical University in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Samir Ross, professor of pharmacognosy and research professor in the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, was honored with the medal on Oct. 2. Ross received the medal for his long history of scientific and collaborative work with the university, which includes supervising graduate students and writing grant proposals with Kazakh researchers.

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Marc Slattery Named NIUST Director

Marc Slattery, professor of pharmacognosy, has been named director of the National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology, which is headquartered at the University of Mississippi.

NIUST, which has been based at UM since its establishment in 2002, is a joint effort between Ole Miss and the University of Southern Mississippi in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NIUST’s overall goal is “to bring together academic or other research organizations to promote, conduct and lead integrated, multidisciplinary undersea research commensurate with the directives of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”


National Center for Natural Products Research Marks 20th Anniversary

Since 1995, the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy‘s inaugural research center has been setting the bar in the areas of natural products chemistry, botanical supplements development and marijuana research – and more.

“We’re delighted to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the National Center for Natural Products Research this year,” said Larry A. Walker, NCNPR director. “This is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on our growth and successes over the past two decades.”

The center was created to discover, develop and commercialize natural products as pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. It is the only university-affiliated research center devoted to improving human health and agricultural productivity through the discovery, development and commercialization of pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals derived from natural products.

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Students Conduct Research in Ancient Polish Forest

A 7,000-year-old forest in Poland could hold the key to solving some of the world’s major health problems, and several University of Mississippi researchers and students are working to unlock the potential of the forest’s ancient ecosystem.

UM researchers often travel to exotic locations, such as tropical rainforests or deep beneath the ocean, to search for plants and creatures that contain compounds that can be used against a variety of human illnesses. This Polish forest might seem an unlikely place to search for new medications, but it actually is a perfect spot, said Jordan Zjawiony, native of Poland and UM professor of pharmacognosy.

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Hapten Sciences to Begin Clinical Trials for Poison Ivy Vaccine

Hapten Sciences Inc., a privately held biotechnology company, will soon conduct a Phase I clinical trial of its lead product candidate, a compound based on research conducted at the University of Mississippi and ElSohly Laboratories that could prevent contact dermatitis due to exposure to poison ivy, oak and sumac.

The company obtained a worldwide, exclusive license for the technology from UM, submitted an Investigational New Drug application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is able to initiate dosing of the compound, PDC-APB, in healthy volunteers

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Graduate Student Receives AAPS Research Award

Manal Nael, a graduate student in the Department of BioMolecular Sciences, received the 2015 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Graduate Student Research Award in Drug Discovery and Development Interface.

The $1,250 award was in connection to a presentation by Nael and Robert Doerksen, associate professor of medicinal chemistry, at the AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition meeting in Orlando, Florida, on Oct. 27: “Virtual screening of new inhibitors of the protein kinase RNA-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK).”


UM Researcher Receives International Award

Mahmoud ElSohly, research professor in the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and professor of pharmaceutics, was recently presented with an award from the International Association for Cannabinoids in Medicine.

The award was presented to ElSohly for “Major Contributions to the Reintroduction of Cannabis as a Medicine.”


NEMUS Bioscience Advances Lead Candidate Through Formulation Testing Prior to IND-Enabling Studies

NEMUS Bioscience, Inc. (OTCQB: NMUS) has entered into a research agreement with the Company’s scientific collaborator, the University of Mississippi (UM), to advance NEMUS’ lead proprietary cannabinoid-based therapy developed for the treatment and management of glaucoma into an optimized once-daily treatment formulation.

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UM Pharmacy School Ranks in Top 10 for Funding

The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy has landed in the nation’s top 10 for total extramural funding, according to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Ranked No. 7 for the 2014 calendar year, the school jumped from No. 12 in 2013.

The school received $15.6 million in total extramural funding, which includes $4.7 million awarded by the National Institutes of Health. The funds garnered by the school support a variety of research projects including drug discovery and development.

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NEMUS Announces Research Agreement with the University OF Mississippi to Develop Proprietary Cannabidiol (CBD) Molecules

NEMUS Bioscience, Inc. (OTCQB:NMUS) announced the signing of a research agreement with the University of Mississippi (UM) to study and conduct research and development on cannabidiol (CBD) containing formulations.

“CBD has shown evidence of therapeutic activity in a variety of diseases, particularly those involving the nervous system, immune reactivity and inflammation. Determining effective means of administering this molecule was a primary goal for NEMUS this year and we are excited to commence further development with our partner, the University of Mississippi,” reports John Hollister, CEO of NEMUS.

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Student Conducts First Study on Autistic Adults’ Quality of Life

A doctoral student in the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy has conducted the first U.S. study on quality of life among adults with autism.

Krutika Jariwala-Parikh, who graduated in May with a Ph.D. in pharmacy administration, wrote her dissertation on “Quality of Life and Health Care Utilization and Costs among Adults with Autism.”

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Soumyajit Majumdar Assumes Associate Dean Role

After a national search, the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy has named Soumyajit Majumdar associate dean for research and graduate programs.

“We are thrilled to have such a talented individual on our administrative team,” said David D. Allen, the school’s dean. “I have great confidence in Jit’s ability to move our school to the next level. His enthusiasm for excellence is infectious, and I can’t wait to see what new opportunities will arise with his leadership.”

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Pharmacy School to Install New NMR Spectrometers

Known worldwide for its excellence in drug-discovery research, the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy is installing three new nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers to complete a suite of eight and enhance its research capabilities.

The machines, which analyze chemical and physical properties of molecules, are part of an overhaul of the school’s NMR capabilities.

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Game Changing Charlie

It was 42 years ago when Charles D. Hufford first climbed the stairs to his new office on the fourth floor of Faser Hall, home to the University of Mississippi’s School of Pharmacy. The then-new Ohio State University Ph.D. graduate had no clue that, more than four decades later, his UM colleagues would credit him with helping transform their pharmacy school into one of the world’s powerhouses in his field – the study of natural compounds – or for vastly enhancing and equipping it for education and research.

But that’s exactly what his colleagues say Hufford has done.

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Professor Meets Criteria for Elite Research Award

Dr. MajumdarA University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy professor was honored by the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists at its annual meeting in November.

Soumyajit Majumdar, associate director of the Pii Center for Pharmaceutical Technology and associate professor of pharmaceutics and drug delivery, was presented with the Lipid-Based Drug Delivery Outstanding Research Award.

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UM Vice Chancellor Honored as Prestigious AAAS Fellow

Alice M. Clark, vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs and Frederick A.P. Barnard Distinguished Professor of Pharmacognosy at the University of Mississippi, has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Election as a fellow is bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers based on the candidates’ scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. This year’s 401 new AAAS fellows will be formally announced in the Nov. 28 issue of the journal Science, the largest peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with 1 million readers.

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Undergraduates Participate in Advanced Research Internship

Two students received a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity this summer to work with Robert Doerksen, associate professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Mississippi, as part of the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program.

Funded by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CHE-1156713, the program is commonly referred to at Ole Miss as the Physical Chemistry Summer Research Program. The program is directed by Nathan Hammer, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry and principal investigator on the grant. Its purpose is to recruit students from other universities who are interested in gaining hands-on experience covering a broad range of topics primarily related to chemistry.

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UM Researchers Study Novel Drug-Delivery System

University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy researchers are studying an improved method for delivering drugs that treat pain and inflammation.

Narasimha Murthy, associate professor of pharmaceutics, and Abhishek Juluri, a pharmaceutics doctoral student, are pursuing new compounds that enable easier drug delivery through the skin. Their work is supported by a collaborative agreement with Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc.

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Professor Receives DOD Grant for Cancer Research

A University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy professor has been awarded a $333,878 grant from the Department of Defense to study a cancer gene called kRAS.

“This gene is important in the progression of pancreatic, lung, colorectal and other cancers,” said Tracy Brooks, assistant professor of pharmacology and the grant’s primary investigator. “We are focusing on the region of DNA that controls how much kRAS gets produced, with the ultimate goal of using the knowledge gained in a targeted drug-discovery program to develop new agents with better safety and efficacy against many cancers.”

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