September 28, 2015

About Faculty and Staff

C O P H Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Alison Harrill, P h D

Alison Harrill, Ph.D.

Alison Harrill, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the COPH Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, has been appointed to the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) Pharmaceutical Science and Clinical Pharmacology Advisory Committee. The Committee advises on scientific and technical issues concerning the safety and effectiveness of drug products used to treat a broad spectrum of human diseases and evaluates the quality characteristics of such drugs and other products which the FDA regulates. It also reviews FDA-sponsored biomedical research programs that support the agency’s drug regulatory responsibilities and its critical path initiatives related to improving the efficacy and safety of drugs and improving the efficiency of drug development. Her term is from 2015 to 2019.

In addition, two mentees of Dr. Harrill who are doctoral students in her laboratory, have won competitive awards:

  • Julia Tobacyk, a Ph.D. candidate in Pharmacology and Toxicology, has been awarded a two-year fellowship through the Systems Pharmacology and Toxicology training grant through the UAMS College of Medicine. In addition, Ms. Tobacyk was awarded 2nd place for her poster presentation at the Gordon Research Seminar on Cellular and Molecular Toxicity Mechanisms in July.
  • Lascelles Lyn-cook, Jr., a Ph.D. candidate in Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences, has been awarded a competitive travel scholarship to present his research at the International Mammalian Genome Society’s annual conference in Yokohama, Japan in November.

Brooke Montgomery, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Professor in the COPH Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, has been accepted as one of six 2015-2017 HIV/AIDS Substance Abuse and Trauma Training Program (HA-STPP) Scholars. The program, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, will enable her to participate in fall and spring institutes at the University of California at Los Angeles for two years and will provide mentorship by a HA-STPP Steering Committee member and $10,000 in funding for a pilot study. The 2015 Fall Institute will be at UCLA on November 4-6. In support of her pilot project, she will receive long-term research mentoring and will be supplied with a laptop loaded with statistical and qualitative data analysis software.

The UCLA HIV/AIDS, Substance Abuse, and Trauma Training Program is a collaboration of the Center for Culture, Trauma and Mental Health Disparities, the UCLA AIDS Institute and the Center for HIV Identification, Prevention and Treatment Services. HA-STTP provides training to postdoctoral fellows and early career investigators to prepare them to apply for National Institute of Mental Health grant funding.

C O P H Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology Mohammed S. Orloff, P h D

Mohammed Orloff, Ph.D.

Mohammed Orloff, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the COPH Department of Epidemiology, was recognized recently in the UAMS Journal and the online publication of the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute for his research on lung cancer. The aim of his current research is to improve the identification of lung cancer phenotypes in Arkansas patients. Accurate detection of non-small cell lung cancer subtypes using biomarkers may lead to earlier diagnosis and better treatment.

Dr. Orloff’s lung cancer research team includes COPH student Lisa M. Alley, MS; COPH faculty member Rosalind B. Penney, Ph.D.; Konstantinos Arnaoutakis, M.D.; Matthew Steliga, M.D.; and Susanne K. Jeffus, M.D..

Dr. Orloff recently submitted a grant application to the Arkansas Breast Cancer Research Project (see Recently Submitted Grants in this issue). Other members of the research team on the grant are Patrick Apopa, Ph.D., MPH student Yusuf Nawawi and Susan Kadlubar, Ph.D..

Recent publications by Dr. Orloff and Rosalind Penney, Ph.D., an Instructor in the COPH Department of Environmental and Occupational Health:

Sutton J, Orloff MS, Michener C, Chiesa-Vottero A, Prayson R, Nowacki AS, Eng C. Association of specific PTEN/10q haplotypes with endometrial cancer phenotypes in African-American and European American women. Gynecol Oncol. 2015 Aug;138(2):434-40. PMID: 26026735. (in collaboration with Cleveland Clinic, Ohio)

Starlard-Davenport A*, Orloff MS*, Dhakal I, Penney RB, Kadlubar SA. Genotypic and allelic variability in CYP19A1 among populations of African and European ancestry. PLoS One. 2015 Feb 3;10(2) PMID: 25647083. (* – first author)