Dr. Sanku Mallik was named Teacher of the Year in the NDSU School of Pharmacy, during a ceremony held on May 14. Mallik began his position in pharmaceutical sciences at NDSU in 2006. He serves as director of the Center for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Strategies in Pancreatic Cancer. It is the first disease specific research Center at NDSU.
The Center provides active mentorship, encouraging collaborative research with elite scientists in their disciplines, and facilitating their research programs by developing Core facilities.
Mallik provides opportunities for pharmaceutical sciences graduate students to be part of a team conducting groundbreaking research regarding pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, systems that can precisely target treatment of cancer tumors, and other research topics.
Working in Dr. Mallik’s lab and additional programs at NDSU provide many opportunities for students, according to Matthew Confeld, who will receive his PharmD degree on May 15.
“We designed a unique growing chamber to test dozens of chemotherapy drugs simultaneously,” said Confeld, among the many research projects he has done through Mallik’s lab. Confeld, a pharmaceutical sciences specialist, will soon be serving as a clinical trial methodology fellow.
Confeld said he learned three main things while working in Dr. Mallik’s lab.
The first is that it’s okay to fail. “The lessons and knowledge I gained from my failed experiments is what allowed me to eventually succeed,” explained Confeld.
Second, Confeld said he learned how to look at the big picture, as well as see the details and ways to improve while conducting research in Mallik’s lab.
Third, Confeld learned how to collaborate and build connections. “By working with other experts, you not only fill gaps in your own knowledge but may also find ways of enlightening yourself personally,” he said.
“His enthusiasm and love of science makes for an enjoyable learning experience and he encourages self-fulfilled learning over just spewing out answers,” said Confeld, who notes that Mallik’s personal qualities set him apart.
“Little things like coming in with a smile, remembering important personal events for his students, and always making time to help are qualities that teach not just academic, but personal excellence as well,” said Confeld.
“Dr. Mallik’s expertise, years of experience, and commitment to outstanding research engages students to become involved in projects that can help to define their future professional careers,” said Charles D. Peterson, dean of the College of Health Professions and School of Pharmacy at NDSU. “Dr. Mallik teaches students about the foundational science behind therapies and about the possibilities available to learn how to conduct research that can lead to more effective treatments for diseases.”
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