University of Florida College of Pharmacy graduate students Amy Alleyne and Corey Perkins earned second place awards in the UF Graduate Student Diversity Research Day poster contest, April 6.
Alleyne, a third-year student in the department of pharmacodynamics, investigated the role of sigma-1 receptors in the context of substance use disorder. She found that activation of sigma-1 receptors within brain regions that regulate reward reduces neuronal signaling. She also determined that treating mice with a sigma-1 receptor antagonist speeds up recovery to meth-induced side effects, revealing a potential target for the treatment of substance use disorder.
Perkins, a second-year graduate student in the department of pharmaceutics, presented on acinar ductal metaplasia, or ADM, which is the initiating event of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, or PDAC. Blacks have a higher incidence and mortality of PDAC in comparison to non-white Hispanics and whites. Perkins studied the rate of transdifferentiation of ADM in these three races, as well as how the process of ADM responds to two different drug treatments, LLL12B (STAT3 inhibitor) and TSA (HDAC inhibitor). Her initial findings reveal diabetic Blacks are more resistant and have a slower rate of recovery from ADM using these two compounds.
UF’s Organization for Graduate Student Advancement and Professional Development and the Black Graduate Student Organization hosted Graduate Student Diversity Research Day virtually this year. The annual event provides graduate students with the opportunity to present their research to other UF students and faculty during an hour-long poster session. All students, regardless of their identities or research focus, were encouraged to participate in the poster session.