Dr. Paul B. Myrdal Memorial Fund for Pharmaceutical Education

Dr. Paul B. Myrdal Memorial Fund for Pharmaceutical Education


This year, the Dr. Paul B. Myrdal Memorial Fund for Pharmaceutical Education in Pharmaceutics will fund two pre-doctoral students: Brianna Cote and Andrew Zhou.


Brianna is a student at Oregon State University, researching multi-drug nanospheres designed for preferential lymphatic uptake for the treatment of metastatic melanoma. She explains:

“The overall goal of this project is to create nanoparticles loaded with drugs that can effectively treat melanoma with the most common mutation that has spread to the lymph nodes. Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer, and current treatments are unable to reach and effectively treat melanoma that has spread to the lymphatic system. Additionally, other mutations are necessary for melanoma to spread from its original site, and cancer cells can adapt to treatment and develop resistance. We will load drugs into nanoparticles to treat this form of melanoma and target an additional mutation to address one of the main causes of resistance to the standard therapy. Nanoparticles are vessels measuring nanometers in diameter that can carry drugs and have demonstrated the ability to be taken up into the lymphatic system. They can be composed of polymers and modified based on the intended delivery site to ensure adequate uptake at the site of action. These nanoparticles will be tested for toxicities in healthy mice and efficacy in mice with melanoma that has spread to the lymph nodes. The goals for the animal studies are to establish a dose that does not cause toxicity in healthy mice after several doses and show that these nanoparticles reduce the amount of melanoma inside the lymph nodes compared to the currently available therapies.”



Andrew is a student at the University of Minnesota. His research will focus on the development of a PET imaging agent for early diagnosis of brain insulin resistance in Alzheimer’s disease. He writes:

“We propose to develop an insulin-conjugated radiotracer that will be used for PET imaging studies in animal models and subsequently in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients. Our preliminary data provide evidence that insulin radiotracers can be used to detect changes in the blood-to-brain transport kinetics of insulin in healthy vs. AD mouse models, which exhibit brain insulin resistance. The PET tracer will be synthesized and developed under good manufacturing practice (GMP) conditions, and the safety and efficacy of the tracer will be established in mice to enable translation into the clinic.”


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Dr. Paul B. Myrdal passed away on May 19th, 2018. Dr. Myrdal was passionate about pharmaceutical education. To read more about Dr. Myrdal’s life, and the legacy he has left, please click here. His family has asked those who wish to honor him, in lieu of flowers, to donate to the Dr. Paul B. Myrdal Memorial Fund for Pharmaceutical Education. Donations may be made at this link. All donations to the Dr. Paul B. Myrdal Memorial Fund for Pharmaceutical Education will support AFPE’s Gateway Fellowship, which funds mentored research projects for B.S. and Pharm.D. students, and the Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, which supports mentored Ph.D. candidates’ research projects.

Please indicate on the donation form that your gift is in memory of Dr. Paul B. Myrdal.