I want to thank SOT and the Faculty United for Toxicology Undergraduate Recruitment and Education (FUTURE) Committee for the SOT Undergraduate Faculty Research Grant that gave me the opportunity to support Shenell Brown to work in my lab at Elizabeth City State University during this past year.
Shenell’s research focused on the evaluation of the effects of artemisinin derivatives (artesunate), an antimalarial agent, and doxorubicin/paclitaxel, anticancer agents, on the proliferation of prostate cancer cell lines: androgen insensitive LnCAP and androgen insensitive PC-3. The purpose of the project is to elucidate the cytotoxic properties of these existing drugs on prostate cancer and to determine if there is any toxic effect on the normal epithelial cell lines. Drugs were administered at different concentrations (1mM–1nM) and the cytotoxic effect was determined using MTT assay for both cancer cell lines. Shenell was able to maintain prostate cancer cell culturing in an aseptic environment using 5% CO2 in a humidified 37-degree incubator, did cell splitting and seeding, and prepared different drug concentrations singly and in combination. Shenell obtained preliminary results and was able to present a poster at the 2022 SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo in San Diego.
This project was an even greater success because Shenell obtained a Summer 2022 internship opportunity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill) School of Medicine with the Summer of Learning and Research (SOLAR) program. This, in part, is due to the research experience gained in my lab and presenting that research at and attending the 2022 SOT Annual Meeting. In addition, Shenell has decided to continue this project to perform more assays and obtain results that will be extended to manuscripts.
Perspective from the Undergraduate Researcher
By: Shenell Brown
Working in Dr. Dolapo Adedeji’s lab really helped me learn many things in research, including data analysis, maintaining an aseptic environment for the cell lines, and calculations involving drug concentrations. This has prepared me for both my future career in pharmaceutical science and my summer internship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, where I will be involved in research for eight weeks.
I also had a great experience attending and presenting at the SOT Annual Meeting in San Diego in March. SOT was my first professional conference. I was interested in listening to the seminars and research authors about their projects. I learned a lot of great information and received feedback on what I should try next to get better results on my research project. I also networked with peers pursuing their master's, PhD, or PharmD and those already working in the pharmaceutical industry. This meeting gave me an idea of what I want to research next and helped me set a career path to become a pharmaceutical scientist working in the pharmaceutical industry on drug discovery and development and studying potential toxic effects.
Editor’s Note: In the 2021–2022 funding cycle, SOT Undergraduate Faculty Research Grants provided funding for 11 students to conduct research with SOT member faculty at five institutions. Blogs highlighting these experiences include those by Mindy Reynolds, Eva-Maria Collins, and Courtney Roper. Starting soon and through the next academic year, faculty at four institutions are supporting students with SOT Undergraduate Faculty Research Grants funding.