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photo of 2015 pps symposium presenters

PPS Research Symposium

5 Oral, Poster Presentations Recognized Among More Than 40 Projects at 3rd Annual Showcase of Graduate Student, Postdoc Research

More than 40 diverse research projects within medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutics and the cardiovascular and neuroscience fields of pharmacology were showcased at the 3rd Annual PPS Research Symposium sponsored by UH College of Pharmacy's Department of Pharmacological & Pharmaceutical Sciences. 

"The symposium represents the rebirth of a department tradition that had disappeared, an annual gathering of department faculty, staff and trainees at all levels, where research results are shared and ideas are exchanged in a lively atmosphere of scientific discovery," said PPS Department Chair Douglas Eikenburg, Ph.D. 

To view photos from the event, visit our Flickr site

photo of yasmin hurd and event organizers
Symposium Scholar-in-Residence Yasmin Hurd, Ph.D., third from left, is shown with members of the organizing committee, from left, Romi Ghose, Greg Cuny, Sonal Singh, Samin Salim, Doug Eikenburg and Tahir Hussain.

Headlining the symposium was renowned neuroscientist Yasmin Hurd, Ph.D., professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Pharmacology & Systems Therapeutics and Ward-Coleman Chair in Translational Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York. She is also Director of the Center for Addictive Disorders in the Mount Sinai Behavioral Health System. Serving as the 2015 symposium Scholar-in-Residence, Hurd delivered scientific and career-development presentations entitled "The Vulnerable Brain: Insights into the Neurobiology of Addiction" and "The Path Traveled: Forget the Stats." 

Awards were presented to the top poster and oral presentations by graduate students as well as the best oral presentation by a postdoctoral research associate. 

The first-place winner and second-place finalist for the Outstanding Poster Presentation (Graduate Students) were:

  • Naimesh Solanki for "Grape powder supplementation prevents and reverses cognitive, behavioral and biochemical impairments in a rat model of social stress" (advisor: Assistant Professor Samina Salim, Ph.D.); and
  • Faisal Fa'ak for "Effects of β-blockers in the absence of gravin’s scaffolding on cardiac function" (advisor: Associate Professor Bradley McConnell). 

The first-place winner and second-place finalist for the Outstanding Oral Presentation (Graduate Students) were: 

  • Sonal Singh for "Role of calcium desensitizing mutation of cardiac troponin C in the development of dilated cardiomyopathy" (advisor: McConnell); and 
  • Pankajini Mallick for "Irinotecan-induced steatosis in vivo: The possible role of fatty acid uptake" (advisor: Associate Professor Romi Ghose). 

The winner of the Post-Graduate Oral Presentation was Jaspal Singh, Ph.D., for "On-bead peptoid applications in molecular imaging tool development" (lab member of Associate Professor D. Gomika Udugamasooriya, Ph.D.).

The presentations were evaluated by panel of distinguished researchers, including two UHCOP alumni: Jaymin Shah, Ph.D. ('88), Research Fellow and Pharmaceutical Sciences Team Leader, Pfizer Research & Development, and Vihang A. Narkar, Ph.D. ('97), assistant professor in the Center for Metabolic and Degenerative Diseases of the Institute of Molecular Medicine at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston; Rachna Sadana, Ph.D., associate professor of Biology and Biochemistry in the Department of Natural Sciences at the University of Houston-Downtown; Abhisek Mukherjee, Ph.D., Jeane B. Kempner postdoctoral fellow in the Mitchell Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Brain Disorders at The University of Texas Health Science Center; and Alan Myers, Ph.D., clinical researcher specialist at MD Anderson Cancer Center.