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June 18, 2010

COP faculty members secure nearly half million in four separate BOR grants

Four professors at the University of Louisiana at Monroe College of Pharmacy were recently notified of award funding through the University of Louisiana System Board of Regents. The awards, which include three enhancement grants and one research competitiveness sub award, totals nearly half a million dollars.

Assistant Professor of Pharmacology Keith Jackson earned a three-year award to study the effects of chronic hypoglycemia on renal function. The $128,318 in grant funding will help develop a novel target for the treatment and prevention of diabetes related to end organ damage.

“Louisiana has several residents that are afflicted with diabetes and/or hypertension and the need for novel treatments to aid those affected is enormous,” said Keith Jackson. “Completion of the proposed studies will be of great benefit to the state and nation.”

Jackson said that, in addition, the project would help to improve the national competitiveness of current research through increased prominence in publications and the establishment of an animal model to study diabetic complications.

Associate Professor of Toxicology Sharon Meyer was awarded $147,734 in funding for the acquisition of an electroparamagnetic resonance spectrometer.

The spectrometer would be capable of detecting molecules with unpaired electrons and with sufficient resolution to help determine a cell’s structure. The fluidity of a cell’s membranes and its effect on drug disposition would be addressed to mediate diseases.

“This new capability will enhance on-going research to detect cellular transition metals and free radicals,” said Meyer.

Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Sami Nazzal was awarded $50,320 for the acquisition of an EmulsiFlex-C3 high-pressure homogenizer and an Alaris® pump.

The award provides a competitive edge with respect to major research in biomedical nanotechnology since it involves instrumentation developed for use in the manufacture of nanoparticles.

“In recent years, it has become evident that the discovery of new drugs alone is not sufficient to ensure effective therapy,” said Nazzal. “To overcome these limitations, intensive research efforts are aimed at alternative carrier systems to release drugs at the targeted site, according to the specific needs of therapy.”

The award comes with an $8,880 match, for a total of $59,200 in grant funding.

Associate Professor of Pharmacy Khalid El Sayed was notified of $135,817 in funding, with a $23,968 match from ULM, to study the significance of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy research.

“One strength of the proposal was the diverse representation of College of Pharmacy groups, including medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, pharmaceutics, toxicology, and clinical sciences,” said El Sayed.

El Sayed noted that the advancement of nuclear magnetic resonance techniques and technologies enhanced the need for a new NMR spectrometer. The state-of-the-art technology will stimulate multidisciplinary pharmaceutical research at ULM’s College of Pharmacy.

“To have a single Board of Regents proposal selected for funding is considered an incredible accomplishment,” said ULM Pharmaceutical Science Department Head Karen Briski. “The simultaneous notification of four outstanding awards speaks to the quality of the faculty we have in the College of Pharmacy. ULM has every reason to be proud.”

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