On Tuesday, April 12th, the Master of Science in Drug Discovery and Development seminar series and the department of pharmaceutical sciences had Dr. Samar Mowafy as the speaker for the talk. Dr. Samar is currently an assistant professor at the pharmaceutical chemistry department, Misr International University in Egypt. She was previously a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington, where she worked on the development of different bioanalytical assays as tandem mass spectrometry for the study of enzymes and biomarkers relevant to inborn errors of metabolism and synthesis of their reagents. Dr. Samar was a Fulbright scholar at Dana Farber Cancer Institute/ Harvard medical school during her Ph.D. where she worked on the design and synthesis and biological evaluation of small molecules of antiproliferative activity.
Dr. Samar’s talk was titled “Chimeric kinase HDAC inhibitors: a challenging approach to combat cancer”, where she spoke about the development of several dual kinase and HDAC inhibitors as one of the alternative approaches for the treatment of various cancer types where both kinases and HDACs are implicated. Dr. Samar explained the usefulness of having such chimeric inhibitors and the developments in the field in this direction so far. In addition, she mentioned the research work she has done so far and the synthesis and biological investigations they performed for the newly developed compounds at different molecular and cellular levels to test their abilities to inhibit specific types of kinase enzymes and HDACs as well. The compounds were also tested at the National Cancer Institute in the US against their NCI-60 cancer cell lines and showed promising results.
The seminar was attended by all the MDD students and faculty members, along with the department of pharmaceutical sciences faculty and teaching assistants. At the end of the seminar students and faculty had a fruitful discussion on different possible future directions for the work. Mutual research interest was found among some of the department members, and this could lead to further collaborative research work on both sides.