UHCOP Pharmaceutics Alumna, Doctoral Candidate Earn ACCP Abstract Awards in 5th Straight Year for College Researchers
A current student and a recent graduate of UH College of Pharmacy's Pharmaceutics doctoral program recently won Student Abstract Awards from the American College of Clinical Pharmacology, marking the fifth consecutive year UHCOP students working under Professor Diana S-L. Chow, Ph.D., have been honored at the national meeting.
This year's recipients were Lei Wu, Ph.D., who graduated in December 2014, and current Pharmaceutics doctoral candidate Daping (Debbie) Zhang, who each received a plaque, $1,000 honorarium and presented their projects at the 2015 ACCP Annual Meeting Sept. 25-27 in San Francisco.
It is the third ACCP win for Wu, who is continuing her work with Chow as a postdoctoral research fellow. Wu's presentation was entitled "Assessment of bioequivalence of intranasal scopolamine using population analysis in human subjects exposed to a simulated microgravity environment." Coauthors on the project were Chow and the late Lakshmi Putcha, Ph.D., M.S. ('75), a UH/UHCOP alumna, UHCOP Dean's Advisory Council member and Chief Pharmacologist at NASA who passed shortly before the meeting.
Funded by Houston-based Wyle Laboratories and NASA, the researchers have been working on the project since 2012. As part of an FDA Phase 2 clinical trial, the team has been evaluating the effectiveness of an intranasal form of the motion sickness therapeutic to help prevent or reverse the effects of space-motion sickness in International Space Station crew members.
Zhang’s project, coauthored by Indiana University School of Medicine's Jamie L. Renbarger, M.D., M.S., and Chow, was entitled "Explaining Variability in Pharmacokinetics of Mycophenolic Acid in Pediatric and Adult Patients with Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: from Plasma Protein Binding and Metabolic Perspectives."
The focus of the project was to investigate the inter- and intra-patient variability of mycophenolic acid (MPA), the active metabolite of an immunosuppressant prodrug mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) used in the prevention and treatment of graft-vs-host disease following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The team examined the pharmacokinetic variations of MPA in samples from pediatric and adults patients after HSCT to gain insight for safe and rational dosing of MMF.
In addition to Wu's two previous ACCP awards in 2012 and 2014, other past UHCOP winners were Roland Ako, Pharm.D. ('09), Ph.D. ('11), now owner/pharmacist-in-charge of Pharmacia Sana in Irving, Texas, in 2011 and Zhiyi Cui, Ph.D. ('14), now a senior scientist with AbbVie in Chicago, in 2013.