Lipscomb University undergraduate student Arsany Abouda who is doing research in the College of Pharmacy is a recent recipient of an Individual Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) award from the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET).
The award provides $2,800 toward Abouda’s summer research stipend to work in the laboratory of his faculty mentor, in this case, Dr. Klarissa Jackson in the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences through the Pharmaceutical Sciences Summer Research Program.
“We are very thankful that Arsany was selected to receive this award,” said Jackson, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences in Lipscomb’s College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences. “In the award letter, Dr. Catherine Fry, director of education for ASPET, indicated that the applicant pool was ‘very competitive’ this year. So, this is an honor for Arsany and the research program. We thank God for continuing to bless the efforts of our students and faculty. We also appreciate the leadership within the College of Pharmacy for making opportunities like this possible.”
Abouda knew early he wanted to attend Lipscomb University. “I visited Lipscomb for the first time when I was in the ninth grade, and I knew then that it was where I wanted to go. I just knew, and didn’t apply anywhere else,” Abouda recalled. Abouda and his family immigrated to Nashville from Egypt when he was young and since he can remember, he always knew he was going to study at Lipscomb.
A member of the first generation in his family to attend college, Abouda and his cousins have all focused their studies within pharmaceutical sciences and medicine. “I was worried when I applied to do research at Lipscomb because it is predominantly graduate students in the labs,” said Abouda. “But I was able to start research under Dr. Jackson working on why certain cancer medications can cause toxicity within the liver, and it has been such a wonderful experience. She has exceeded my hopes in her mentorship and guidance in research.”
Abouda was drawn to Lipscomb because of the excellence within the College of Pharmacy as well as the environment of the university. “Lipscomb is a family, and I knew that coming here I would have a much closer relationship with my instructors because of the small student to faculty ratio,” he explained. “Plus, Lipscomb is only about 30 minutes away from home, and being from the area, I knew that it is the best university in Nashville to attend to get the best education and walk away with a competitive degree.”
“Arsany was a good fit to apply for this undergraduate research fellowship because of his diligence in the lab and excellent potential. Arsany is eager to learn, and he approaches his work with enthusiasm. His research skills have grown significantly since he started in my lab last year, and I look forward to his continued success,” Jackson said.
Dr. Scott Akers, chair of pharmaceutical sciences and professor in the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, said this is an example of the impact research opportunities have on students early in their educational careers.
“This is another great example of getting Lipscomb students exposed to research early on in their undergraduate studies where they can apply what they are learning in the classroom and expand their education by engaging in scientific inquiry,” said Akers. “Much like our Pharm.D.-to-Ph.D. Pathway, expanding the research opportunities in pharmacology and toxicology for undergraduate science majors has the potential to open up new career pathways for these students and establish another training pathway that will enhance Lipscomb’s national reputation.”
“Arsany’s SURF Award from ASPET is a reflection of his academic success and commitment but it also reflects the outstanding mentorship of Dr. Jackson and our ability to build a pharmaceutical sciences research program that can help our students secure these highly competitive awards.”
Lipscomb’s College of Pharmacy is rooted in the Christian faith, and committed to developing pharmacists who not only know how to execute in their field, but also see a deeper level of care as essential to their work and the communities they serve.
For more information on the College of Pharmacy, click here.