Corena Shaffer was awarded a Student Travel Award for the 2017 American Society of Pharmacognosy Annual Meeting held in Portland, Oregon on July 29th-August 2nd.
Shaffer is a Ph.D. student in the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program (Physiology and Pharmacology discipline) at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UT Health San Antonio.
While at the meeting,she will be part of a group led by Dr. Susan Mooberry teaching a workshop titled “Determining the Mechanism of Action of Potential Anticancer Agents: Beyond Apoptosis” as well as presenting a poster of her work titled “Mechanism of Action of Englerin A in BT-549 Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells.”
“For those not familiar with the term, pharmacognosy is the branch of science focused on the medicinal use of compounds from natural products such as plants, fungi and marine invertebrates,” she said. “Research presented at the meeting will range from the discovery of new chemical entities to projects like mine focused on the biological activity of known natural product-derived compounds.”
Specifically, Shaffer studies natural products and their specific activity against triple negative breast cancer subtypes.
“This allows me to identify unique liabilities of these subtypes which can serve as molecular targets for new chemotherapeutic agent,” she said. “The development of new chemotherapies for triple negative breast cancer is particularly important because it is the most aggressive and has the worst patient prognosis of all breast cancers.”
Shaffer is most looking forward to reconnecting with individuals she met at the annual meeting before.
“This will be my second American Society of Pharmacognosy meeting, so I am looking forward to reconnecting with individuals I met two years ago to get updates on their research,” she said. “The entire group of scientists that attend this meeting are extremely welcoming and create such a positive and thought provoking environment, that you cannot help but have fun!”