Interdisciplinary Research Award Fosters Collaborative Approach to Tackling Biomedical, Healthcare Issues

By Linda Wang

The USC School of Pharmacy has announced the winners of its 2018 Interdisciplinary Research Award: Julio Camarero and Paul Beringer for their proposal “Design and Evaluation of Cyclotide-Based Anti-Microbial Micro-Proteins as Therapeutic Leads” and Houda Alachkar and Yong (Tiger) Zhang for their proposal “CD99/FLT3 Bispecific Antibodies, New Immunotherapy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia.”

Yong (Tiger) Zhang (left), assistant professor of pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences, and Houda Alachkar (right), assistant professor of clinical pharmacy.

The award fosters collaborative efforts among faculty from two or more School of Pharmacy departments to address a pressing biomedical and healthcare issue.

“The research award was created to recognize the diverse skill sets of our faculty and draw on its varied expertise to find solutions that can potentially improve patient lives,” said Annie Wong-Beringer, associate dean for research and graduate education.

Paul Beringer (left), professor of clinical pharmacy, and Julio Camarero (right), professor of pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences.

Countless patients stand to benefit from the potential impact of these research projects. Camarero and Beringer are working to develop peptide antibiotics to treat patients with infections involving drug-resistant bacteria. Alachkar and Zhang aim to develop a drug to treat patients with acute myeloid leukemia, a particularly aggressive cancer.

Each of the two winning research teams will be awarded $50,000 per year for two years.