TALLAHASSEE — Florida A&M University (FAMU) doctoral student Terrick Andey recently won first place in the Health Sciences category during the inaugural Statewide Graduate Research Symposium.
Hosted by the University of South Florida, the symposium brought together 75 graduate students from various disciplines across eight universities.
Andey’s poster was titled, Liposomal Annexin A2 Small Hairpin RNA-mediated Inhibition of Angiogenesis in Lung Cancer Stem Cells. “I was definitely thrilled to have had those long and lonely hours of research work recognized on such a platform,” said Andey, a Ghana native. “I perceive the award to be a validation of the progressive research environment that FAMU has been fostering.”
The pharmacy student’s research discusses the issue that one of the major challenges with cancer chemotherapy is the growing incidence of relapse. His study targeted a protein AnnexinA2 by inhibiting its expressing at the molecular level in lung cancer cells. His work supports the growing evidence that targets SP cells in tumors, which represents one of the new frontiers in targeted therapy of chemotherapy-resistant cancer.
“There is growing evidence to support the hypothesis that a subset of a tumor population (side population) is responsible for promoting the resistance observed with many conventional anticancer drugs,” Andey said.
“Hence, strategies to specifically target these are expected to stem the rising incidence of relapse.
“By silencing AnnexinA2 using short-hairpin RNA specific to AnnexinA2, we were able to inhibit the growth and induce the death of these SPs.”
Andey attributed his success to the consistent research environment he has been immersed in under FAMU Pharmacy Professor Mandip S. Sachdeva.
“I appreciate the support of the faculty and staff of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, as well as Dr. Verian Thomas, for putting their bet on me,” Andey said. “I am more than what I could have hoped to be because of their investments in me.”