3.1. Qualifications &Roles of the PO and PC. This Core will be led by Dr. Shaikh who is the Principal Investigator (PI) of the grant and will serve as the PO of the RI-INBRE program. As PO, he will foster the recruitment and research career development of junior faculty and promote collaborative biomedical research among the junior and senior faculty from the network institutions. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the NECC which coordinates the ongoing 5-state INBRE collaboration for providing high-speed fiber optic connectivity between various academic institutions and health centers within each state and in the northeastern region. His administrative experience consists of continuously serving as the Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, and later the Department of Biomedical Sciences, at URI's College of Pharmacy for 18 years. Currently, he is the Director of the Center for Molecular Toxicology and the statewide, multi-institutional RI-INBRE Program, which he has directed since its inception in 2001. He was formerly a member of NIH's Toxicology Study Section and has remained active as an ad hoc reviewer for NIH grant review panels. He has been an NIH grantee since 1975 and has a long-term research interest in metal toxicology. More recently, he has been interested in elucidating the molecular mechanisms of the xenoestrogenic effects of cadmium in breast cancer progression. Dr. Shaikh's research expertise is pertinent to the scientific themes of the proposal and he possesses the administrative skills necessary to lead the Rl- INBRE progra0 for the next 5 years. With the assistance of the PC and the advisory committees (EAC, SC, and SEC), he will ensure that the network prospers and progress is made in all Specific Aims proposed in this proposal. The PC, Dr. Parang, is an alumnus of the RI-INBRE program. He assumed the PC responsibilities in June 2012 and has been intimately involved in developing the present proposal with the PD. After graduation from the RI-INBRE program in 2004, he remained engaged with the program by organizing a seminar series and as a mentor in the SURF program. He has been deeply involved in RI-INBRE administrative activities, such as organizing Mentoring Committee meetings and a grant workshop, reviewing research proposals for potential inclusion in the program, participating in meetings with the URI administrators, EAC, SC regarding RI-INBRE matters, and planning the thematic focus areas based on research strengths among the network faculty. His scientific interests are in drug discovery and development for cancer and neurological diseases, expertise that is highly pertinent to the proposed scientific themes of this grant application, and also compliment the PO's expertise in Molecular Toxicology. Dr. Parang has research collaborations at URI, Brown, nationally, and internationally. His research can be appropriately described as the application of synthetic organic chemistry to problems in biology. Specific areas currently under investigation include: 1) using peptides as cell-penetrating molecular transporters in anticancer drug delivery;2) designing protein kinase inhibitors as anticancer agents;and 3) developing neuroprotective agents for neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Parang will assist Dr. Shaikh in overseeing various aspects of the network, particularly its research and faculty mentoring programs. He will also spearhead the research activities in the thematic areas through improving collaboration between network institutions and organizing the seminar series and symposia.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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University of Rhode Island
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