Two Butler COPHS graduate students have recently been recognized for their national level research achievements. Ms. Neelima Mantha and Ms. Yatri Patel have both won the Amgen award for their research presentations (forthcoming) at the National Biotechnology Conference in San Francisco in May 2011. The award includes a travelship of $500 for each student to help defray the cost of attending the conference. This award is very competitive and our students are up against PhD scholars nationwide (including a number of international schools as well), therefore both of them winning the award under two separate categories is an outstanding achievement.

Neelima’s project involves the development of a liposomal nanoparticle delivery system for a siRNA against the mutant Huntingtin protein identified in Huntington’s disease, and the evaluation of the system’s efficacy in mutant PC-12 cells. Yatri’s project involves the development of targeted docetaxel nanoparticle delivery systems decorated with aptamers specific to the MUC1 surface protein present on breast cancer cells. We are collaborating with an UK University on the latter project for the design of the specific aptamers.

In addition, Yatri’s project has been selected for the media showcase, which means she will be meeting with the press during the conference and there will be a press release by AAPS (American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists).

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