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June 15, 2006

AFPE awards $5,000 scholarship to ULM pharmacy student and faculty mentor

The American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education (AFPE) has awarded a $5,000 scholarship to ULM pharmacy student Justin A. Prestridge and his faculty mentor, Dr. Khalid El Sayed.

The award, a 2006 Gateway to Research Scholarship, allows Prestridge and 14 other outstanding professional degree pharmacy students (or baccalaureate degree students with remarkable potential) nationwide to participate in faculty-mentored state-of-the-science pharmaceutical research projects.

El Sayed will advise Prestridge in his project, titled “Optimization of Novel Marine Sponge Laxosubrites Secondary Metabolites as Antiproliferative and Antiangiogenic Leads.” The award period began June 1 of this year and will conclude May 31, 2007.

The program’s goal is to address the nation's need for more pharmaceutical scientists so as to end academic and industry shortages.

As quoted by the AFPE, “U.S. pharmaceutical companies need Ph.D. pharmaceutical scientists with the specialized education and training in product development, drug delivery, manufacturing quality control and other advanced pharmaceutical science technologies taught at U.S. schools/colleges of pharmacy.”

There are 500 (or 11.5 percent) reported full-time college faculty positions vacant nationwide due to the hiring away of pharmacy faculty to pharmacy schools and industry/hospital careers. Retirement of current college instructors also contributes to the shortage.

According to the AFPE, approximately 40 percent of Gateway to Research Scholars enroll for the Ph.D. degree in pharmaceutical science after graduation while 30 percent accept pharmacy residency or fellowship programs after graduation. Both avenues establish a foundation for a career in academic teaching and research.

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