For two days in February, the University hosted the InSight Asia-Pacific Research Symposium. The event was a collaboration between University of the Pacific, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and China Pharmaceutical University (CPU). The event marked the second time that Pacific has partnered with CPU for a pharmaceutical research symposium. This year’s theme was innovative technology, methods and approach.

The University’s international guests were welcomed by Provost Maria Pallavicini, PhD. Leslie Benet, PhD, professor of bioengineering and therapeutic sciences at UCSF delivered the keynote address. Faculty members and students from all three universities presented posters and served as speakers. In addition, the guest speakers included Takashi Yamagami, PhD, field application scientist at Precision NanoSystems US, Inc. and Ron Aoyama, PhD, senior research scientist at Gilead Sciences, Inc.

Representing Pacific, posters were presented by Daniel Bonanno ’18, Michael Browne ’21, Poonam Dattani ’17, Harshavardan Gurrala ’17, Yifan Lu ’18, Michael Ng ’20, Mandeep Singh ’20, Mallika Vadlamudi ’18, Siwen Wang ’18, Yuntao Zhang ’21, and Zhu Zhou ’14, BPharm, PhD, assistant clinical professor of pharmaceutics and medicinal chemistry.

Among the student speakers were Jinyun Chen ’19, Ryan Murray ’21 and Md Zahir Uddin ’21. Pacific’s faculty guest speakers included Melanie Felmlee, PhD, assistant professor of pharmaceutics and medicinal chemistry; Vyacheslav Samoshin, PhD, professor of chemistry; and Liang Xue, PhD, assistant professor of chemistry.

“This symposium provided a unique opportunity for students across the Pacific Ocean to exchange their research findings,” said Xiaoling Li, PhD, professor of pharmaceutics and medicinal chemistry and associate dean of graduate education and research. “More importantly, the students from all participating universities gain a valuable experience to organize an international meeting and acquire the skills that they are not able to learn in the class or labs.”

“Often, we pick up something interesting that we can apply to advance our own research,” Vadlamudi said. The symposium had a direct impact on Lu’s research. “I got to know about a fluorophore dye molecule from a CPU student’s poster, which will boost my research,” Lu explained.

The event was initiated and organized by Pacific’s student chapter of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS). Lu and Vadlamudi served as co-chairs for the symposium committee and were instrumental in coordinating the event. The extensive list of guest speakers exemplifies the robust network of Pacific’s Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences Graduate Program faculty and students.

“The AAPS student chapter leadership group at Pacific has done a great job in planning, organizing and executing a high-quality program,” Dr. Li said.

James A. Uchizono, PharmD, PhD, professor pharmaceutics and medicinal chemistry and associate provost for research, believes that the symposium exemplified the spirt of collaboration found at Pacific. “Both research and friendship easily traverse barriers and boundaries,” Dr. Uchizono said. “Our Pacific students should be proud of hosting a successful two-day event that contributed to scholarship and international and national networking.”

The next InSight Asia-Pacific Research Symposium is expected to be held in Spring 2018 in Nanjing, China.


By Anne Marie H. Bergthold
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