Student Scientists Present Research at Experimental Biology Event

Published May 2, 2016 This content is archived.

story by dirk hoffman

Graduate-level researchers and faculty in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology presented in-depth studies and lectures at the 2016 Experimental Biology meeting and related forums.


The April meetings, a series of scientific research events involving more than 14,000 multidisciplinary participants, were held in San Diego.

Student Research Garners Division, Travel Awards

Four students received American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) Graduate Student Travel Awards to attend its annual meeting, held in conjunction with the Experimental Biology meeting, and present posters.

Sushmitha Gururaj, a student in the pharmacology doctoral program, presented a poster “Regulation of Slack KNA Channel Trafficking By p38 MAP Kinase.” She is mentored by Arin Bhattacharjee, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology.

Doctoral student Angela Gocher presented a poster “CaMK2 Activates Oncogenic Akt in Ovarian Cancer Cells and is a Promising Therapeutic Target.” She is mentored by Arthur M. Edelman, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology.

Danielle Tomasello, a doctoral student in Bhattacharjee’s lab, presented a poster “Slick (KCNT2) Sodium-Activated Potassium Channels Limit Nociceptor Excitability and Pain.”

Shuhang Dai, a student in the master’s program, presented a poster “Serum Starvation Induces a Rapid Increase of Akt Phosphorylation in Ovarian Cancer Cells.” He is mentored by Edelman.

Gururaj and Tomasello also presented their posters in the Neuropharmacology Division of the ASPET Graduate Student Competition, where Tomasello won a third place award.

Doctoral Student Selected For Mentoring Program

Alexandria Trujillo, a doctoral student, won a travel award and was selected to participate in the ASPET “Big Ideas” Mentoring Program.

The program selects a cohort of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to join trained coaches and participate in a yearlong mentoring and professional development program.

Trujillo is mentored by John M. Sullivan, MD, PhD, associate professor of ophthalmology.

Faculty Co-Host and Present at Symposiums

SUNY Distinguished Professor Margarita L. Dubocovich, PhD, chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and senior associate dean for inclusion and cultural enhancement, hosted and introduced Marc Nivet, EdD, chief diversity officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges, who presented a keynote lecture entitled “Diversity 3.0: From Fairness to Excellence.”

Jun-Xu Li, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology, co-chaired a symposium at the ASPET annual meeting titled “Quantitative Pharmacological Analysis of In Vivo Data and its Implications in CNS Drug Discovery.”

Li delivered a talk at the symposium titled “Combining Imidazoline I2 Receptor Ligands and Opioids for Pain Management: A Composite Additive Curve Analysis.”

Stewart Clark, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology, co-chaired a symposium titled “Keep Calm and Target Peptides: Modulation of Stress-Related Behaviors by Neuropeptide Systems.”

Clark gave a talk at the symposium titled “Development of Neuropeptide S Receptor Targeted Compounds as Potential Therapies for Anxiety-Related Disorders.”