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Trainee spotlight: Franklyn De Silva

Franklyn De Silva is a PhD student in Pharmacy and an active volunteer on campus.

Bio

Franklyn De Silva is pursuing his PhD in Pharmacy. He has a BSc (Biotechnology and Chemistry) and MSc (Cell Biology and Molecular Pharmacology) from West Texas A&M University and completed internship training in animal models, autoradiography, and confocal microscopy at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. He is a member of the Phi-Theta-Kappa International Honor Society and the Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society of America.

Currently, Frank is Chair of the UofS American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Student Chapter. He also sits on the UofS Graduate Student Association Diversity Committee and the Canadian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences Board of Directors as Trainee Representative.

Frank has received several academic and travel scholarships including the Apotex Canada Academic Scholarship, John Larson Cancer Research Trust Scholarship, and Shoppers Drug Mart Dean’s Trust Scholarship. In his spare time, Frank is a graphic artist and a few of his biological illustrations have been published. He also works part-time for Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Research

Frank is supervised by Dr. Jane Alcorn. His research involves molecular signaling and cellular processors in diseases with dysregulated proliferation. More specifically, his PhD research focuses on:

  • Understanding irregularities with kinase inhibitors targeting a signaling cascade in tumor cells;
  • Mapping pathways and processors targeted by mammalian lignans;
  • Investigating the role of nuclear receptor PPARγ mediated networks in cancer and fibrosis; and
  • Utilizing endoplasmic reticulum stress inducing natural products for manipulating multiple signaling pathways in cells with a dysfunctional regulatory network.

Selected Publications and Conference Abstracts

  • Y Di, Y, F De Silva, E Krol, J Alcorn, 2018. Flaxseed lignans enhance the cytotoxicity of chemotherapeutic agents against breast cancer cell lines MDA-MB-231 and SKBR3. Nutr Cancer, 5: 1-10. 
  • K Shah, S DeSilva, T Abbruscato, 2012. The Role of Glucose Transporters in Brain Disease: Diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Int J Mol Sci, 13 (10): 12629-12655.
  • F De Silva and J Alcorn. Lignans Modulate Cancer Cell Lipid Metabolism and Trafficking, and Activate Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress to Sensitize Inhibitors Targeting the PI3K-AKT-mTOR Axis. AAPS, San Diego, CA, USA (2017).
  • F De Silva, S Yang, Y Di and J Alcorn. Lignans Target Cholesterol Trafficking to Modulate Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Sensitize Breast and Prostate Cancer Cells to Clinically Relevant Kinase Inhibitors. Canadian Health Research Forum, Winnipeg, MB, Canada (2017).
  • F De Silva, S Yang, C Lee, Y Di and J Alcorn. Mammalian Lignans Modulate Cellular Energy Metabolic Pathways to Sensitize Cancer Cells to Anti-cancer Agents. Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences, Ottawa, ON, Canada. (2017).
  • F De Silva, S Yang, T Rude, Y Di and J Alcorn. Mammalian Lignans Alter Lipid Metabolism and Influence Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress to Sensitize Cancer Cells to Clinically Relevant Anti-cancer Agents. CSPS, Montreal, QC, Canada. (2017).
  • F De Silva and J Alcorn. A Newer Multi-Kinase Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Modulates Cellular Energy Metabolic Pathways within HER2 Negative Breast Cancer and to Impair Tumor Cells. Abcam conference titled “Metabolic and transcriptional reprogramming leads to cancer vulnerabilities”, Toronto, ON, Canada. (2016).
  • F De Silva, S Yang, and J Alcorn. A Newer Multi-Kinase Inhibitor Modulates Cellular Energy Metabolic Pathways within Breast Cancer to Impair Tumor Cells. Western Canadian Medicinal Chemistry Workshop (WCMCW), Saskatoon, SK, Canada. (2016).

 

 

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