July 18, 2024

Distinguished Alumni Lecture in Chemistry: Exploring Chemistry’s Impact on Cancer and Mental Health Research


The UST College of Science recently hosted the Distinguished Alumni Lecture in Chemistry that highlighted the application of chemistry in cancer and mental health researches. Dr. Meden Isaac-Lam, an Associate Professor at Purdue University in Northwest Indiana and an alumna of the UST BS Chemistry (Batch 1980) was warmly welcomed as the esteemed speaker. Her captivating talk delved into the significance of chemistry in treating cancer and mental disorders.

Dr. Lam’s talk, titled “Chemistry Applications in Cancer and in Mental Disorder,” presented cutting-edge research that promises advances in two critical areas. Her lecture highlighted the synthesis of photosensitizers for potential use in photodynamic therapy (PDT). These synthesized compounds show promise in combating triple-negative breast and prostate cancers. IN addition, Dr. Lam discussed the application of chemistry in understanding post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a mental health concern for American military personnel. Her innovative use of magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy (MRI/MRS) revealed metabolic imbalances in specific brain regions of individuals with PTSD, shedding light on potential correlations between neurometabolites and the disorder’s severity.

The lecture, co-sponsored by the Department of Chemistry, the Research Center for the Natural and Applied Sciences (RCNAS), and The UST Graduate School, drew a diverse audience, including eager BS Chemistry students, academic staff of the College of Science, researchers from RCNAS, and graduate students from the UST Graduate School. The event served as a platform for highlighting the significant contribution of chemistry in addressing diverse health concerns. Additionally, it demonstrated the university’s dedication to promoting academic and scientific excellence through joint initiatives and by engaging notable alumni who have excelled in their chosen fields.

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