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November 5, 2012

American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists honors ULM graduate for breast cancer research

University of Louisiana at Monroe graduate Dr. Sashikanth Banappagari (Ph.D. ’12) received an American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Graduate Student Award in Drug Discovery and Development Interface.

The award was presented at the AAPS national meeting in October in Chicago, Ill.

Banappagari presented his research results as a podium and poster presentation.

The title of his presentation was “Modulation of EGF‐receptors Signaling by Small Peptidomimetics and its Implications in Breast Cancer Progression.”

Dr. Seetharama Jois, associate professor in ULM’s Department of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences, was Banappagari’s major supervisor.

“The molecules developed to inhibit protein to protein interactions provide new ways to develop therapeutic agents for drug resistant breast cancer,” said Jois.

His work focused on molecules that generate the signal for cell growth. These molecules are called epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFRs).In the case of cancer, EGFR proteins bind to one another in large amounts to generate signals for cell growth in abnormal ways that result in cancer.

Banappagari's work, supported by Louisiana Biomedical Research Network, focused on a small molecule that binds to one of the EGFR proteins to stop the interaction between other proteins and the signal generated for breast cancer.

He is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Kansas.

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