New Investigator Award to CU Professor

by Kathryn Sill, Public Relations Writer

Denise Simpson, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Cedarville University, is the recipient of the 2015 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) New Investigator Award. The AACP New Investigator Award provides startup funding for new pharmacy faculty to use towards preliminary research, with the maximum award amount of $10,000.
 
“This award will provide research training for Cedarville students with an interest in pharmacy as well as the chemical and biological sciences,” Simpson said.
 
Simpson’s award is based on her study, titled “Evaluation of the Biological Activity of Cajanus cajan Flavonoids and Related Analogs.” Simpson is collaborating with Samson Amos, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Cedarville, who will be assisting with the molecular biology and cellular assays in the project.
 
Cajanus cajan is also referred to as pigeon pea. Pigeon pea is a nutritious legume that makes up a large part of tropical diets. In some Caribbean and Latin American countries, it is cooked with rice, placed in soups or served as a side dish. 
 
“We will be looking at the antioxidant activity of compounds found in pigeon pea and probing their effects in different brain tumor cell lines,” Simpson said.
 
Simpson will use this award to purchase supplies needed to complete the project and to hire student assistants.
 
“It is anticipated that the data obtained from the project will allow us to uncover potential beneficial effects of previously unstudied plant compounds on human health,” Simpson said. “The data will also provide a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying cell death in human brain tumor cell lines.”
 
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,620 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings.