Artificial Intelligence: The Future of Pharma


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By  Padmanabhan (Paddy) Eangoor

In the past, machines were considered as tools that reduce human effort by performing tasks that humans are capable of, except thinking and learning. Machines, these days, come with cognitive skills as well, making them highly intelligent, if not to the level of humans. Continue reading

Zika Doesn’t Have a Price Tag: Low Cost, Low Tech Zika Virus Surveillance Tool


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By Joel Rovnak

We wanted a field test to detect the Zika virus that was so simple, we could run it from the back of a pickup truck while checking mosquito traps. Loop-mediated amplification (LAMP) is an alternative test for the genetic material of any infectious agent, whether it’s a bacteria, virus or parasite. LAMP tests for viruses related to Zika, like dengue, West Nile, and yellow fever, had already been developed for diagnostics. But these assays were overly complicated, as they required sophisticated laboratories with expensive equipment and trained technicians. Continue reading

Bringing Science to the Schools That Need it the Most


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By Brentney Fields

Marshall University School of Pharmacy (MUSOP) is situated in West Virginia where deaths from opioid overdose rose 16.9% from 2014 to 2015 and ranks highest in the country in overdose death rate. On August 15, 2016, there were 26 drug overdoses in a six-hour period in the area near MUSOP due to a trend to “cut” heroin with Fentanyl, which creates a more powerful drug. West Virginia is also struggling with a public education system that ranks somewhere between 34th and 47th place in the nation depending on the source. Continue reading

On Becoming a Technical Manager


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By Mehran Yazdanian

As graduate students, we spend almost all our waking hours thinking about our projects, running experiments, interpreting results, and counting days to graduation. Then one day we graduate and most of us get jobs in the industry. A few of us are given supervisory roles because of our academic degrees without any managerial training or experience. However, supervisory responsibilities are usually given after working in the lab for a few years and demonstrating superior performance as individual contributors. In either case, we become managers of other scientists by virtue of time and education and not necessarily because we are good at managing others or have any management training. Continue reading

The First Regulatory Compliance “Pillar”: Good Laboratory Practices (GLPs)


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By Monica Lee Whitmire, Ruth E. Stevens, and William (Willie) Salminen

Ruth StevensDrugs undergo strenuous testing before they ever enter human bodies. Nonclinical studies are intended to establish that the product will not expose humans to unreasonable risks in relation to the therapeutic benefits of the drug, referred to as the risk:benefit ratio. These guidelines often include Good Laboratory Practice (GLP)-compliant safety pharmacology, general toxicity, toxicokinetic (TK), reproduction and developmental toxicity, and genotoxicity studies. Continue reading