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Department of Pharmacology & Physiology News

April 2024

The Department Hosts PCSfN Meeting

The department recently hosted this year’s meeting of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience. During the meeting several of our graduate students were recognized for their excellent poster presentations. Geena John, PhD candidate in the Jackson lab and Courtney Wallace, PhD candidate in the Klase lab earned 1st and 2nd place respectively in the graduate student poster section. Additionally, Dr. Antonio Sanz-Clemente became the new president of the chapter. Thank you to everyone who participated and made the meeting a success.

Antonio Sanz-Clemente PhD, Courtney Wallace and Ellen Walker PhD
Antonio Sanz-Clemente PhD, Courtney Wallace and Ellen Walker PhD

Antonio Sanz-Clemente PhD, Geena John and Ellen Walker PhD
Antonio Sanz-Clemente PhD, Geena John and Ellen Walker PhD

Faculty Receive Pilot Grants from the CNHC

Two department members were selected to receive pilot grants from the Temple/Drexel Comprehensive NeuroHIV Center (CNHC) Developmental Research and Mentoring Core (DRMC). Dr. Laura Giacometti, postdoctoral fellow in the Barker lab, earned a grant to support her project “Top-down mechanisms of estrous cycle dysregulation in EcoHIV infection.” Dr. Gabriele Romano, assistant professor, earned another grant for his project “Immunologic functions of myeloid-derived suppressor cells in cancer and HIV co-morbidity.”

Gaskill Lab Publication Honored by Drexel Libraries

The Drexel Libraries will designate a recent publication from the Gaskill lab as a highly cited, hot paper at its annual Celebrating Drexel Authors event. The manuscript, Dopamine, Immunity, and Disease was published last year in Pharmacological Reviews.

March 2024

Dr. Hartsough Receives First R01 Award

Congratulations to Dr. Ed Hartsough for earning his first R01 award as an independent investigator. The award is funded through the NIH National Cancer Institute and will provide Dr. Hartsough long-term grant support for his project: “Exploiting oxidative stress response in uveal melanoma liver metastasis.”

Deepa Reddy Earns Dean’s Graduate Student Travel Award

Deepa Reddy, graduate student in the Ajit lab, earned a Drexel Dean’s Graduate Student Travel Award for the spring 2024 cycle. The award will support her attendance at the International Association for the Study of Pain’s 2024 World Congress on Pain.

Dr. Van Duyne Earns Developmental Grant

Congrats to Dr. Rachel Van Duyne for earning a developmental grant from the Temple University Comprehensive NeuroHIV Center. The grant was awarded from the center’s Developmental Research and Mentorship Core and will fund Dr. Van Duyne’s project: “Recapitulation of myeloid models of HIV-1 infection in cerebral organoids.”

Barker Lab Student Awarded Research Mini-Grant

Julia Wiafe-Jackson, an undergraduate student in the Barker lab, was awarded a Research Mini-Grant from Drexel’s Undergraduate Research & Enrichment Programs. Julia will present her grant-supported research at Drexel’s 2024 Week of Undergraduate Excellence Virtual Poster Session.

February 2024

Dr. Horwitz Honored by DUCOM

Dr. Horwitz has been invited by the Drexel University College of Medicine Class of 2027 Society presidents to deliver the keynote speech at this year’s Golden Apple awards ceremony. He was also chosen to be the macebearer at this year’s commencement ceremony, who traditionally leads the platform party onto the commencement stage. These invitations honor Dr. Horwitz’s 30+ year legacy as a researcher and educator at Drexel and the previous Medical College of Pennsylvania and celebrates his contributions to medical student training over his career.

Dr. Romano Earns Rising Star Award from SKCC Consortium

Dr. Gabriele Romano was honored with an Up & Coming Rising Star Award from the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC) Research Consortium. The award recognizes his excellent work and strong funding in the early years of his independent research career.

January 2024

Deepa Reddy Wins AWIS Travel Award

Congrats to Deepa Reddy, PhD student in the Ajit lab, for receiving the Robert E. Davies Travel Award from the Association of Women in Science (AWIS) Philadelphia chapter. The award supports attendance to national or international scientific meetings for female graduate students in the Philadelphia region.

Faculty Receive W.W. Smith Grants

Several faculty members successfully earned new research grants from the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust. Dr. Gabriele Romano earned a grant to support his project “Boosting the T-cell response against melanoma in people living with HIV.” Dr. Antonio Sanz-Clemente and Dr. Andréia Mortensen earned another grant for their project “Modulation of extrasynaptic NMDA receptor content as a novel therapeutic strategy in stroke.”

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Elements of a laboratory experiment.