GlyCORE News & Announcements

September 2021

GlyCORE hosts second seminar of the new Seminar Series with two profound presentations

By Lauren Kate Drewry

The Glycoscience Center of Research Excellence (GlyCORE) held its second seminar of the new Seminar Series on Sep. 21 in the Thad Cochran Research Center.

Each month GlyCORE hosts a seminar with two presentations. One is a research presentation highlighting current research within GlyCORE, and the other is a literature presentation on a current article published by outside authors in the field.

Photo of Hoda AhmedGlyCORE research assistant Hoda Ahmed from Dr. Vitor Pomin’s lab kicked off the seminar with her literature presentation on the article, “Structural characterization and immunostimulatory activity of a glucan from Cyclina sinensis.”

“The literature article I presented included an intensive work to determine the structural information of a polysaccharide isolated from the marine clam Cyclina sinensis,” Ahmed said. “It was also included the immunostimulatory activity of the isolated polysaccharide considering the structure activity relationship.”

Ahmed took an interest in this research while working at her Core Facility. 

“Since I graduated from pharmacy school, I chose to study natural products chemistry and my goal is to discover new drugs of higher potency and minimal or no side effects,” said Ahmed.

Ahmed finds that similar research conducted at GlyCORE will shed light on future drug discovery.

Research assistant Kayleigh Phillips from Dr. Cole Stevens’s lab presented the research presentation, “Myxobacterial response to biofilms and secreted virulence factors from pseudomonads.”

Photo of Kayleigh Phillips“My research is about myxobacteria and their transcriptional and metabolic response to quorum sensing molecules such as 4-hydroxy-2-heptylquinoline (HHQ) and acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) exhibited from prey bacteria,” Phillips said. “Also, it’s how novel myxobacteria respond to membrane features, alginate, exhibited by common clinically relevant bacteria shown through predation assays.”

Phillips foresees this research to have a significant impact on future myxobacteria research.

“This research aims to discover new specialized metabolites and further understand how other prey bacteria respond to myxobacteria metabolism and how myxobacteria respond to their prey’s quorum-sensing molecules,” said Phillips.

According to Phillips, she first became interested in this research through working with the pharmaceutical industry and handling microorganisms.

According to the Glycoscience Center of Research Excellence, the Seminar Series will allow GlyCORE the opportunity to highlight local glycoscience research and display the capabilities of the Research Cores.

GlyCORE’s mission is to help advance the work of their investigators by equipping them with the materials needed to conduct research as well as expanding  their access to the glycoscience community throughout the Mid-South.

“GlyCORE has been an excellent avenue for learning more about the glycoscience field from other scientists through the annual meetings and having access to different research cores that provide various equipment, such as mass spectrometry, to improve our research capabilities,” said Phillips. “These opportunities have allowed for honing valuable skills needed to be a better scientist.”

The next series will be held on Oct. 19 in the Thad Cochran Research Center or via Zoom at 2 p.m. The next presentations will come from Dr. Nicole Ashpole’s lab and GlyCORE’s Imaging Core.

August 2021

GlyCORE kicks off its first Seminar Series with groundbreaking student research presentations

By Lauren Kate Drewry

The Glycoscience Center of Research Excellence (GlyCORE) held its first seminar of the new Seminar Series on Aug. 24 in the Thad Cochran Research Center. GlyCORE will host a seminar with presentations from two GlyCORE researchers once every fourth week.

Each seminar will include a research presentation about current research from within GlyCORE and a literature presentation on an impactful article from an author outside of GlyCORE followed by a period of discussion.

2nd-year chemical engineering Ph.D. student Oluwaseyi Shofolawe-Bakare, from Dr. Thomas Werfel’s lab, kicked off the seminar with his research presentation, “ABC Triblock Glycopolymers for macrophage-targeting and ROS-responsive drug delivery.”

“These novel nanoparticles take advantage of the carbohydrate-related mechanisms in the immune system to selectively inhibit immunosuppressive processes that drive the progression of cancer,” Shofolawe-Bakare said. “It can also be used to specifically deliver drugs to treat other inflammation-related diseases.”

Shofolawe-Bakare finds that this research is very significant in advancing treatments for cancer and other diseases in the future.

“The nanoparticles engineered in this work will be used for the selective drug delivery of hydrophobic drugs,” said Shofolawe-Bakare. “In addition, the knowledge gained from this work provides valuable insight into how glycoscience can be wielded as a powerful tool to improve therapeutic outcomes in a variety of diseases.”

According to Shofolawe-Bakare, the most exciting part of this research is the process of engineering these sophisticated nanoparticles and their potential to .

GlyCORE graduate student Amena Begum from Dr. David Colby’s lab presented a literature presentation on the article, “Stereochemistry of Transition Metal Complexes Controlled by the Metallo-Anomeric Effect” by Feng Zhu and Maciej A. Walczak.

Begum took an interest in this research after seeing it originally presented at the Mid-South Glycoscience Meeting.

“This was presented by a professor in the glycoscience seminar this summer, so when I saw the professor’s presentation, I was very interested to learn and chose this topic,” said Begum.

Begum foresees this literature article to have a significant impact on future glycoscience research.

“In the future, I think [this research] is very important for the drug design,” said Begum. “The flexibility of this transition metal catalyst in an anomeric position means this research is very significant.”

According to the Glycoscience Center of Research Excellence, the goal of the Seminar Series is to “aid in the establishment and development of a community of GlyCORE-affiliated researchers as well as researchers with potential future interests or intersections with glycoscience.”

GlyCORE has helped foster and support these investigators’ works and has provided them with the tools they need to advance their research and knowledge of glycoscience.

“The GlyCORE Computational Core has done an incredible job simulating how our nanoparticles would bind to our target cells,” said Shofolawe-Bakare. “More so, the wealth of knowledge about glycoscience displayed at the monthly GlyCORE meetings and the questions asked have shaped the way I think about my research and glycoscience in general.”

The next series will be held on Sep. 21 in the Thad Cochran Research Center or via zoom at 2 p.m. The next presentations will come from Kayleigh Phillips from Dr. Cole Stevens’s lab and Hoda Ahmed from Dr. Vitor Pomin’s lab.

June 2021

Faculty, Researchers Honored by School of Pharmacy

Photo Joshua Sharp

Joshua Sharp

Joshua Sharp, associate professor of pharmacology, was recognized for his research with the Cumberland Pharmaceuticals Inc. Faculty Research Award.

Sharp has secured funding for numerous projects during his time with the school. Among those was a $7.5 million grant to establish the Glycoscience Center of Research Excellence, which he serves as director. GlyCORE supports glycoscience investigators through direct funding of research projects, while providing new researchers with opportunities for mentorship and networking.

Sharp’s writing has also been widely noticed by his peers. Cited more than 1,400 times, Sharp has published more than 60 papers, with 15 appearing in the past three years.

 

 

May 2021

GlyCORE to Host Inaugural Mid-South Glycoscience Meeting

Photo Joshua Sharp

Joshua Sharp

Photo Samir Ross

Samir A. Ross

OXFORD, Miss. – The Glycoscience Center of Research Excellence at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy is set to host the inaugural Mid-South Glycoscience Meeting.

The meeting is slated for July 19 at the Thad Cochran Research Center. The one-day event will be a venue for Mid-South glycoscience researchers and their trainees to feature their work, network and establish new opportunities for collaboration.

Read more:  GlyCORE to Host Inaugural Mid-South Glycoscience Meeting

 

February 2021

Up Front: The Science Behind the COVID-19 Vaccines with Dr. Sharp

Photo, Dr. Joshua Sharp

Joshua Sharp

Joshua Sharp, faculty member with the School of Pharmacy, will be sharing the science behind the COVID-19 vaccines and answering general questions on the development of vaccines on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. CT through the Ole Miss Alumni Association’s Up Front Speaker Series.

Attendees will better understand what a vaccine is, how it works and why it is effective.  Learn from an expert about what you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccines.

The Zoom Webinar is free and open to the public. Registration required at olemissalumni.com/events. Submit your vaccine questions at the Google Form.

 

 

November 2020

Understanding COVID-19 Topic for Virtual Oxford Science Cafe

Photo, Dr. Joshua Sharp

Joshua Sharp

November 11, 2020

OXFORD, Miss. – The infection processes of the COVID-19 virus are the topic for a virtual Oxford Science Cafe scheduled for Nov. 17 by University of Mississippi faculty researchers.

The program will be hosted on Zoom beginning at 6 p.m. Joshua Sharp, associate professor of pharmacology and director of the UM Glycoscience Center of Research Excellence, will discuss “COVID-19 and Heparan Sulfate: The Carbohydrate Handle that SARS-CoV-2 Uses to Grab Your Cells.”

You may view the recorded discussion at the following link:  “COVID-19 and Heparan Sulfate: The Carbohydrate Handle that SARS-CoV-2 Uses to Grab Your Cells.”

 

September 2020

UM Researchers Working on Nasal Spray COVID-19 Treatment

Joshua Sharp

Ritesh Tandon

September 16, 2020

OXFORD, Miss. – A team of researchers, including faculty from the University of Mississippi schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, are developing a treatment that could be effective at preventing COVID-19.  The good news is that it’s something that you can easily carry in your bag.

Read More:

“UM Researchers Working on Nasal Spray COVID-19 Treatment”

 

July 2020

Glycoscience Research Center Established at School of Pharmacy

Joshua Sharp

July 20, 2020

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi has received a $10.5 million Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence Phase I grant from the National Institutes of Health to establish a new center dedicated to glycoscience, funded for the first year at $2,107,042.

The Glycoscience Center of Research Excellence, known as GlyCORE, will study how carbohydrates and carbohydrate-containing molecules affect human health.

Read More: “Glycoscience Research Center Established at School of Pharmacy”