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Pharmacy Graduate Student Wins $10,000 Fellowship

OXFORD, Miss. – Dennis Carty, a University of Mississippi doctoral student in environmental toxicology, has received a 2016 North American Graduate Fellowship from the American College of Toxicology.

Five of these prestigious national fellowships are awarded each year by ACT, and they come with a two-year stipend of $5,000 per year to be used toward the recipient’s education, as well as financial assistance to attend ACT’s annual meeting. The fellowship is given based on the quality of the applicants’ graduate-level work.

Carty’s award-winning research was an abstract titled “Cannabinoid Toxicity versus Antiepileptic Potential using Zebrafish,” which explores the effects of different chemicals within cannabis on zebrafish, inspired by the recent trend of using cannabinoids in epilepsy treatments. Cannabinoids are compounds unique to the cannabis plant.

Dennis Carty
Dennis McCarty honored for research on potential anti-epileptic drugs. (Photo by Ole Miss Communications)

“Dennis has formulated a research plan to investigate what, as a toxicologist, I believe is the fundamental question in drug development: the underlying mechanisms of both toxicity and therapeutic efficacy of cannabinoids,” said Kristie Willett, professor of pharmacology and environmental toxicology and Carty’s graduate adviser.

Along with his research, Carty, a native of Dallas, submitted an essay outlining his career aspirations as a toxicologist. This is his first national award, and he said the financial assistance to attend the conference is just as helpful for his career aspirations as the stipend.

“As a graduate student, conferences are invaluable to our growth in research, communication, and networking,” Carty said. “Not only will I be able to share my research with the nation’s leading toxicologists and receive much-needed feedback, but I am also afforded the opportunity to network with potential future employers.”

After completing his Ph.D., Carty plans to seek a postdoctoral position and ultimately work in discovering treatments for human diseases. Specifically, he hopes to test common chemicals for their effects on the endocrine system.

Besides his studies, Carty serves as the student representative for the School of Pharmacy’s research and graduate affairs committee and is immediate past president of the BioMolecular Sciences Journal Club.

Carty, along with the four other fellowship recipients, will be recognized Nov. 10 at the 2016 annual meeting of ACT in Baltimore.

By Sydney DuPriest. For more information contact Jon Scott, 662-915-5231jonscott@olemiss.edu.

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