Author                                                                                                                              
 

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Sherry Jung

Biological Sciences

The hardships and obstacles Sherry Jung faced during the course of her research project all seemed to melt away the day she finally obtained significant and reproducible results. Her contribution to the advancement of dermatology is only one of Sherry’s many accomplishments. During her time at UCI, she has been an HSEP Medical Volunteer, a Peer Educator for the Counseling Center, and has served as a Biological Sciences Representative on the ASUCI Legislative Council. She is also a founding member and the current editor-in-chief of Med Times. Sherry’s advice to future undergraduate researchers is to start early, learn from your mistakes, be patient, and stay motivated. triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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Abstract                                                                                                                           
 

The role of the skin is to provide a barrier to the external environment, rendering absorption of therapeutic drugs, including corticosteroids, problematic. Preliminary testing has shown that fatty acids (linoleic acid) incorporated into structurally configured polymers can act as penetration enhancers. This modification alters the barrier properties of the stratum corneum and the migration of topical drugs such as cortisol through human skin. Previous unpublished studies using an amine compound, polyoxyalkyleneamine D 400 (polyamine D 400), have suggested that topical corticosteroid solutions supplemented with novel polymers improve the penetration of therapeutic drugs. Sets of unique polymers, synthesized in this laboratory, were selected for initial assessment of penetration enhancement using the in vitro Franz diffusion model. The penetration and retention of cortisol into the skin layers were determined by measuring radiolabeled drug levels at the experimental endpoint by liquid scintillation counting. Linoleic acid + polyamine D 400 polymer achieved statistically higher cortisol penetration through the skin when compared to the commercial standard or the vehicle control. In the future, these unique polymers may be used as penetration enhancers to improve transdermal delivery of other topical drugs of therapeutic interest. triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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Faculty Mentor                                                                                                                
 
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Jerry L. McCullough

College of Medicine

The rewards and experiences derived from mentoring undergraduate students through the School of Biological Sciences are mutual. The skills acquired through participation in research programs at UCI carry over into our students’ professional lives, and their publications help to further their career development. The current project by Sherry Jung has served to illuminate our understanding of the penetration of a common dermatological drug when used in combination with a custom-synthesized polymer. The results obtained point to direct applications in the field of dermatology as the polymeric compounds may be further modified for targeted-drug delivery. The avenues of research in this area are numerous, and we anticipate ongoing investigations using novel polymeric penetration enhancers. triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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