David Brumley, a second year Ph.D. student, and Jeremy Coleman, a fourth-year Ph.D. student, won the department of medicinal chemistry’s Graduate Student Seminar Presentation awards on Sept. 15. The awards recognize the top student research presentations in the Graduate Student Seminar Series 2017-18. Brumley won the Junior Division, while Coleman won the Senior Division.
“The awardees delivered an outstanding presentation, which involved data analyses, slide preparation and professional delivery of the presentation itself,” said Hendrik Luesch, Ph.D., a professor and chair of the department of medicinal chemistry. “Both awardees actively participated in the departmental seminar discussions and had perfect seminar series attendance. This collective criteria set great examples for the other graduate students and thus the students were selected by the center faculty of the department to receive these awards.”
Brumley’s seminar focused on the identification of new drug candidates, many of which are produced naturally from microorganisms. As these new therapeutic candidates are often times only produced in minute quantities, we utilize synthetic organic chemistry to make the drug in the lab. His future work will aim to identify the genes within the organism, that contain the “biological blueprints” encoding for the drug molecule. Coleman’s seminar presentation was on the return of D4 dopamine receptor antagonists in drug discovery for the potential treatment of addiction, cancer, and Parkinson’s disease. His current research at UF focuses on the synthesis of steroidal compounds for the treatment of HIV and cyclic tetrapeptides for the treatment of cancer.
Brumley, pictured left, is mentored by Luesch, while Coleman, pictured right, is mentored by Jane Aldrich, Ph.D., a professor of medicinal chemistry.