Recent Student Achievements

Our students have many opportunities to present their work on campus and in conferences. We are proud of their recent awards and achievements.

Best Student Seminar Award

2016 – 2017
Senior division:
Weijing Cai, Pooled Screening for Antiproliferative Inhibitors of Protein-Protein Interactions
Marci Smeltz, A Multiple-Year Study of Hepatic Biomarkers in Coastal Fishes Post-Deepwater Horizon

Junior division:
Gena Burch, Improving Drug Design: An Update on Recent Applications of Efficiency Metrics, Strategies for Replacing Problematic Elements, and Compounds in Nontraditional Drug Space

2015 – 2016
Senior Division:
Fatma Al-Awadhi, Mode of Action and Pharmacogenomics Biomarkers for Exceptional Responders to Didemnin B

Junior Division:
Yasmeen Abouelhassan, A Novel Multiple-State Antimalarial Agent that Inhibits Protein Synthesis


UF Drug Discovery Symposium

2017 – Winners from Medicinal Chemistry
Oral Presentation – Student Category:
Nick Paciaroni, Ring Distortion of Yohimbine Leads to Diverse Biological Discoveries

Poster Presentation – Student Category:
Yasmeen Abouelhassan, Discovery of Halogenated Phenazines, Hydroxyquinolines and NH125 Small Molecules as Potent Biofilm-Eradicating Agents of Gram-Positive Pathogens and MRSA Persister Cell Killers
Chip Norwood, Complexity-to-Diversity on the Indole-Containing Natural Product Vincamine
Ran Zuo, Developing Biocatalytic Processes for the Synthesis of Nitro Compound

2016 – Winners from Medicinal Chemistry
Poster Presentation – Student Category:
Danmeng Luo, Total Synthesis of the Potent Marine-Derived Elastase Inhibitor Lyngbyastatin 7 and In Vitro Biological Evaluation in Model Systems for Pulmonary Diseases
Yasmeen Abouelhassan, Discovery of Potent Halogenated Phenazine and Quinoline Small Molecule Biofilm-Eradicating Agents


UF College of Pharmacy Research Showcase

2017 – Winners from Medicinal Chemistry
Oral Competition – Millard Senior Division:
Weijing Cai, Development of Apratoxins, Marine-Derived Anticancer Agents with Novel Effects on Growth Factor Signaling

Poster Competition – Ph.D. Category:
Yi Zhang, Multi-site Lactonization introduced by a Distributive ATP Grasp Ligase in Microviridin Biosynthesis

2016 – Winners from Medicinal Chemistry
Oral Competition- Junior Division:
Weijing Cai, Discovery, Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Apratyramide, a Marine-derived Transcriptional Stimulator of VEGF-A

Poster Competition – Ph.D. Category:
Danmeng Luo, Discovery and Development of the Potent Marine-Derived Elastase Inhibitor Lyngbyastatin 7: Structure-Activity Relationship Studies, Total Synthesis and In Vitro Biological Evaluation in Model Systems


Individual Awards and Honors

Fatma Al-Awadhi, Kilmer Prize Winner 2017
Awarded by the American Pharmacists Association and the American Society of Pharmacognosy

Weijing Cai, Selected for oral presentation at 2015 American Society of Pharmacognosy (ASP) Annual Meeting

Michelle Bousquet, 2015 A*STAR Research Attachment Programme (ARAP) Scholarship
Awarded by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) to study at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) in Singapore