Scholars Week is a week-long showcase of academic pursuits and research among the academic departments. The week culminates in a university-wide Scholars Day Exposition held on the campus at Middle Tennessee State University. This event covers the scholarship conducted during the fall and spring semesters.
Scholars Day showcases the same academic rigor as Scholars Week, but instead is a one day event showcasing the academic pursuits and research during the summer semester.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been practiced in Asia for over two thousand years, however it has been mostly overlooked in drug discovery studies. Cancer is one the deadliest and most complicated diseases on the planet. Effective treatment usually involves highly toxic chemotherapies that reduce the patient s quality of life, and many cancers can develop resistance to currently available therapies. New drugs that eliminate these challenges are a must in order to treat cancer effectively. A handful of new drugs for cancer treatment such as Paclitaxel, Arsenic Trioxide and Camptothecin derivatives have come from the TCM vault, but there are thousands more remedies that have yet to be thoroughly studied as potential drugs for cancer treatment. The Tennessee Center for Botanical Medicine Research (TCBMR) has taken on the task of studying TCMs for their potential in the western drug market, and one of its goals is to find new drugs to fight cancer. One of the earliest steps in this process is primary screening, which involves in vitro testing of TCM extracts for cytotoxicity on lung and breast cancer cells and very low toxicity on healthy cells. Using a high-throughput screening technique and fluorescence indicator AlarmarBlue, the effectiveness of each extract sample can be characterized. High throughput screening will allow a large number of extracts and concentrations to be tested simultaneously. AlarmarBlue, which is initially blue in color will be converted to a highly fluorescent pink compound in the presence of viable cells. Completion of primary screening provides information needed for further study of promising extracts and advances them to the next step in the long process of drug discovery.