The traditional idea of pharmacy is of a person in a white coat, standing behind a counter dispensing pills at the local drugstore. At OSU, the tradition is getting a makeover. As the only accredited PharmD program in the state of Oregon, OSU is not only training for the traditional but leading the way to a whole new vision for students and researchers interested in pharmacy.
From the 2006 President’s Report:
Preparing for the next epidemic. Itâ€™s like a game of â€œSurvivor.â€? Before a microbe can infect a host, it must outwit the defense â€” stomach acids, killer T cells, antibodies. Too often, the invaders win. The result: diseases from the common cold to tuberculosis, malaria, AIDS and flu. Luiz Bermudez wants to know how infectious microbes pick their way through the defense. The professor of Veterinary Medicine and Microbiology and his colleagues study a group known as mycobacteria, which includes those that cause tuberculosis and leprosy. Biochemist Mark Zabriskie and colleagues in the College of Pharmacy are looking to marine and terrestrial bacteria and fungi for potential new antibiotics. The focus in Mark Zabriskieâ€™s College of Pharmacy lab is on new compounds with anti-bacterial potential. One project investigates organisms from the Black Water Ecosystem in Indonesia as a source of new drug leads. The goal: analogs of anti-infective compounds with improved therapeutic properties.
Bermudez and Zabriskie are two of more than 20 OSU scientists who attack infectious diseases from many perspectives, with more than $14.8 million in current funding support. Drawing on OSUâ€™s traditional strength in the life sciences, researchers collaborate across six colleges. Lab facilities specialize in techniques from mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance to veterinary diagnostics and computational modeling.
Another groundbreaker in the College of Pharmacy- Mark Leid
…Leidâ€™s interest in science took off…But it was a post-doctoral experience in France, at the Laboratoire de GÃ©nÃ©tique MolÃ©culaire des Eucaryotes in Strasbourg, that shaped Leidâ€™s approach to science. Leid worked with Pierre Chambon, a leader in molecular biology and a Nobel Prize nominee. In the course of a routine protein purification, Leid insisted on testing the purified material for biological activity. To his surprise, he found that a second protein was needed for the first to function. The resulting article in the journal Cell became the most widely cited paper in science that year.
Today, Leid is a professor of pharmacology in the OSU Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and an assistant dean in the College of Pharmacy. He and his OSU colleagues continue to collaborate with Chambonâ€™s lab, focusing on the molecular machinery of leukemia and brain development. Key to their work is a genetically engineered mouse that Leid began developing. The mouse lacks a gene and the corresponding protein, which plays a crucial role in cell development. The protein, known as CTIP2, regulates other genes during development of both the immune and nervous systems. The mouse also lacks T cells, a major part of the immune system. As a result, it could be useful in studying immune-deficiency diseases such as AIDS. Since CTIP2 plays an important role in two separate processes, Leid thinks he and his collaborators might be on the trail of something fundamental in cell biology. One day, medical researchers could use his results to create a treatment for T cell leukemia and other diseases or HIV. â€œIt could be big,â€? he says.