The Accelerating Excellence In Translational Science (AXIS)Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science

Friday, April 08, 2011
Dr. Shehla Pervin to RCMI Nashville and Beyond!

AXIS had the pleasure of supporting Dr. Shehla Pervin’s travel to the Bi-annual Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Conference held in Nashville, TN in December 2010. Dr. Pervin has been a part of the CDU intellectual community for three years, bringing fourteen years of experience in breast cancer research to our university. She is now an independent PI extending breast cancer research into human tissue and repository settings.

This was her first RCMI meeting. “I really wanted to get to know the 18 [RCMI] institutions,” she said, “To meet more scientists, especially from the cancer cluster.” Her goal was to find repositories and scientists willing to share tissues.

Dr. Pervin wasted no time reaching out to other researchers. She made face-to-face contact with Dr. Fadiel Hamed from Meharry and talked about developing a Memorandum of Understanding.. In addition, she reached out to Dr. Caroline Howard from Jackson State University who was willing to support her research, as well as Dr. Robert Kirkan from UT-El Paso, who committed to inquiring with surgeons from his university.

But scientific curiosity went both ways; there were researchers interested in Dr. Pervin’s work. In particular, scientists working with certain compounds from plants that have been tested in a breast cancer cell line called MCF7 want to test them in the mammary cancer stem cells Dr. Pervin is studying. Dr. Pervin also presented five posters, one of which especially sparked the interest of fellow RCMI conference goers. She shared her knowledge on culturing mammary cancer stem cells with several researchers studying prostate cells.

Besides establishing scientific collaboration opportunities, Dr. Pervin learned about RCMI. “Now that I’ve been to the [conference] I understand how important RCMI is, how it helps to strengthen the network, how important it is to participate in webinars, and I learned more about RTRN [the RCMI Tranalational Research Network].” For example, Dr. Yanigahara (co-PI of RTRN) from University of Hawaii is making a catalogue of each RCMI institute so we can easily find collaborators and resources.

Finally, her view of AXIS evolved. “We didn’t know what AXIS was, [but now] we really think that AXIS is doing good for the university, trying out different ways to help research move forward. It can reach out to people and really support research. People [at AXIS] are accessible. Things will happen.”

CDU continues to expect great things from Dr. Pervin!

For more information about AXIS, please visit our website: or directly contact the Concierge Function (Dr. de Castro, or Innovations and Partnership Function (Dr. del Pino, for personalized information on how AXIS can support your research.