UK Researchers Explore Anticancer Properties of Natural Products

UK College of Pharmacy pic
UK College of Pharmacy
Image: pharmacy.mc.uky.edu

Sherif Mohamed El-Refai, who already holds a doctor of pharmacy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is now working on a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Kentucky (UK). As an experienced pharmacist, Sherif Mohamed El-Refai also serves as an oncology pharmacist at the UK Markey Cancer Center and performs lung cancer research.

In a recent press release, the UK College of Pharmacy highlighted a collaborative research project that is working to provide more information about the anticancer properties found in natural products. The collaborators published an article entitled “A Divergent Enantioselective Strategy for the Synthesis of Griseusins,” which explains a new way to create the compound griseusins. Published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition, the article reports on how the new method resolves longstanding issues related to total synthesis of griseusins.

During the study, the researchers learned that the metabolites act in a mechanistically dissimilar way, and the new synthetic approach facilitates exploration of the molecules’ structural elements. According to the assistant dean for translational research, the study discovered structural components that shed light on the anticancer properties of griseusins. The project united investigators from the UK’s Center for Pharmaceutical Research and Innovation and the UK Markey Cancer Center.

University of Kentucky Researchers Create Thermal Cancer Treatment

UK HealthCare facilities pic
UK HealthCare facilities
Image: ukhealthcare.uky.edu/markey

With a doctor of pharmacy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Sherif Mohamed El-Refai is now working to earn a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Kentucky. Sherif Mohamed El-Refai also conducts lung cancer research and serves as an oncology pharmacist at the University of Kentucky’s Markey Cancer Center.

The University of Kentucky recently issued a statement announcing that the Food and Drug Administration has granted clinical trial approval for an investigational medical device to treat advanced lung cancer that was developed by university researchers. Created through a project funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Exatherm Total Body Hyperthermia System (Exatherm-TBH) heats and circulates blood through the vascular system at a temperature of 107 degrees Fahrenheit during a four-hour treatment.

According to the research lead, Dr. Jeremiah Martin, cancer cells can be more easily impaired by heat than normal tissue, and the systemic hyperthermia method assails cancer cells all around the body simultaneously. For the clinical trials, the researchers are encouraging patients with late-stage lung cancer who have exhausted their conventional treatment options to consider participating. The University of Kentucky researchers are hopeful that a safe method for full-body heat delivery that targets cancer cells will lead to a better way to treat patients whose cancer has metastasize.

Duties of an Oncology Pharmacist

An experienced pharmacist, Sherif Mohamed El-Refai is pursuing a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Kentucky. Sherif Mohamed El-Refai also works as an oncology pharmacist at the Markey Cancer Center, where he focuses his research on lung cancer.

At the most fundamental level, oncology pharmacists are responsible for tailoring drug therapies for patients with cancer. To develop the most effective pharmaceutical treatments possible, oncology pharmacists create, execute, monitor, and adjust pharmacotherapeutic plans for individual patients. Oncology pharmacists typically coordinate patient care with other health professionals in a clinical setting.

In addition to patient care, oncology pharmacists must stay current on the latest oncology research and evaluate it with a critical eye. Using new information from scholarly publications, oncology pharmacists make recommendations for clinical use and create educational materials for patients. Oncology pharmacists also play a central role in the oncology drug development process, which includes activities such as developing research protocols, collecting data, and recruiting patients.

Cancer Research Support Funds at the Markey Cancer Center

As an oncology pharmacist at the University of Kentucky’s Markey Cancer Center, Sherif Mohamed El-Refai is focused on contributing to the research and treatment of cancer. In the interest of making cancer treatment methods more successful, medical professionals like Sherif Mohamed El-Refai donate their time and experience toward cancer research at the Markey Cancer Center. The general public can also take the initiative to support cancer research by donating to one of the following funds.

The Cathy Coop Fund: This fund is sponsored in memory of Kentucky medical professional Cathy Coop. Peritoneal and ovarian cancer patients who receive treatment at the Markey Cancer Center and demonstrate financial need are eligible to receive donations from this fund, which helps cover the cost of treatment as well as other necessities, such as medication, childcare, and transportation.

Ironcology Program: Founded by University of Kentucky radiation oncologist Dr. Jonathan Feddock, this program supports the advancement of treatment technology at the Markey Cancer Center. As Dr. Feddock participates in the Ironman Louisville Triathlon, donations are pledged for the number of triathletes he passes during the race. Since 2014, Ironcology has helped raised nearly $142,000 for cancer.

The Nick of Time Fund: Founded by 13-year-old Nick Wrobleski, this fund sponsors lung cancer prevention measures and early detection methods for Kentuckians. The fund began with Wrobleski raising money for awareness through soda-can tab collections, informative essays, and the sale of wristbands.

North Carolina Association of Pharmacists – Benefiting the Profession

An oncology pharmacist at the Markey Cancer Center, Sherif Mohamed El-Refai is pursuing his doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Kentucky. To stay current on the issues of his profession, Sherif Mohamed El-Refai maintains membership in the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists (NCAP).

Established in 2000, the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists unified four different state-based pharmaceutical organizations with a mission to advance, serve, and unite the pharmacy profession. Offering continuing education courses and a professional journal, the NCAP helps members stay at the forefront of the profession through a wide variety of seminars and annual conventions. Open to active and retired pharmacists as well as students both in and out of state, the NCAP offers a wide range of benefits for its members, including discounts on meetings, lobbying on legislative changes, a number of practice tools, and assistance with its members’ pharmacy school loans.

American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists – Membership Benefits

An experienced pharmacy professional, Sherif Mohamed El-Refai earned his doctor of pharmacy and was recognized by the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Sherif Mohamed El-Refai is also a member of the American Pharmacists Association and the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (ASHP).

Formally established in 1947 by a joint partnership of the American Pharmaceutical Association and the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists, the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists is committed to helping pharmacists advance health care. To this end, the society offers industry advocacy, continuing education, drug information, and professional policy standards.

Open to anyone involved in the pharmacy industry in the United States or throughout the rest of the world, including students and retired professionals, ASHP has more than 42,000 members. Designed to promote actions that enhance patient safety and improve medication use, the ASHP’s member resources include regular e-newsletters, conferences, and information centers. In addition to providing professional discounts and an online discussion forum, the ASHP serves as a place for members to connect and gather opinions.                            

See on Scoop.itSherif Mohamed El-Refai

Eschelman Provides Experiential Program for Emerging Pharmacists

Sherif Mohamed El-Refai earned his doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy. At Eschelman, students complete a mix of classroom work and experiential practice. This approach gives pharmacists, such as Sherif Mohamed El-Refai, foundational knowledge about medications along with ability to interact with patients to offer quality pharmaceutical care.

The school features a specific department, called the Office for Experiential Education (OEE), which oversees the experiential component of the program. The OEE coordinates rotations throughout North Carolina and offers national and international experiential opportunities. Students can gain hands-on practice at hospitals and pharmacies, along with exposure to emerging and progressive pharmacy practices through their rotations.

This experiential program is one of the components that has earned Eschelman recognition among the top U.S. pharmacy programs. Eschelman also offers leading-edge research, strong academics, and high-quality faculty.