Biology Student Honored for Cancer Research at USciences' 194th Founders' Day Ceremony

Written by Lauren Whetzel-Siburkis
Published on February 24, 2015

Jasjit DhillonBecause biology student Jasjit Dhillon BI’15 embodies the spirit of innovation of the founders of University of the Sciences, she was selected as the recipient of the 2015 Founders’ Day Undergraduate Student Award of Merit during the University’s 194th Founders’ Day Ceremony on Feb. 19.

“Jasjit has distinguished herself with her research in biology and her investigation has led to the discovery of a novel edible plant whose extract can specifically kill leukemic cells with minimal harm to normal cells,” said William Cunningham, PhD, dean of students at USciences.

Within her first year as a biology student at USciences, Dhillon, of Sicklerville, New Jersey, was suited up in a laboratory conducting hands-on cancer research under the guidance of assistant professor of biology Bela Peethambaran, PhD. Little did Dhillon know, the plant which her research surrounded has the potential to provide valuable insight into the world of cancer research. That’s because Myrothamnus flabellifolius—a plant typically used in drought tolerance research—also offers healthcare advantages that have not yet been explored.

“Jasjit is a great team member and gels with everyone in my lab,” said Dr. Peethambaran. “She has also presented her research at regional and national conferences, as well as helped to secure a grant from the Ruth Estrin Goldberg Cancer Foundation.”

Each year, Founders’ Day at USciences recognizes its establishment on Feb. 23, 1821, as Philadelphia College of Pharmacy — the first college of pharmacy in North America, which is now a part of USciences. As part of the ceremony, an honorary degree of science was presented to Carol Buchalter on behalf of her late husband, alumnus Martin P’55.

Just eight years after earning his pharmacy degree from USciences, Martin Buchalter revolutionized the medical application of ultrasound by developing an easy-to-use transmission gel that once applied to the patient’s skin, provided the medium that the ultrasound waves needed to enter body tissue. For more information, visit the University’s Founders’ Day webpage.

Click to see Founders' Day: Photos | Video.

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Categories: News, Feature Story, Faculty, Students, Student Profile, Awards and Honors, Event, Leadership, Research, Academics, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Misher College, USciences, Department of Biology, Biology

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