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Principal Investigator

May H. Abdelaziz, BPharm, MS, PhD

Assistant Professor

Fisch College of Pharmacy

The University of Texas at Tyler

Dr. Abdelaziz received a Bachelor of Pharmacy and Masters in Pharmaceutical chemistry from Cairo University in Cairo, Egypt, and Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Abdelaziz has completed two postdoctoral research fellowships in drug discovery of neurologic agents at the University of Utah (U of U) and in cancer research at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

As a graduate teaching assistant at VCU, she actively participated in several pharmacy courses. Her teaching experience also includes mentoring undergraduates, graduate, and professional students (pharmacy and nurse anesthesia) in several class and laboratory settings as well as working as a trainer in NIH glycoscience workshops. Dr. Abdelaziz is an active member in several professional associations including the American Chemical Society, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity. 

Her research area is centered around drug discovery in several fields with a special focus on cancer and cancer biology research. Research interests include discovery and study of allosteric modulators, screening of chemical and natural products libraries, studying enzyme kinetics, mechanisms of inhibition and discovery and analysis of protein – protein interactions in protein networks using biophysical techniques. 

Complete CV

FCOP Profile

Lab Members

Brittnee Cagle-White (Lab Technician) 

Brittnee is an aspiring MD-PhD student. She received a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry from The University of Texas at Tyler. She received her Masters in Biotechnology from The University of Texas Health Science Center in Tyler. Brittnee has worked in the biotech industry, but returned to UT Tyler in the pursuit of academic research.


Liaqat Ali, M.Phil,Ph.D.D (Postdoctoral Fellow)

Liaqat earned his Ph.D. from Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, China, and completed his first postdoctoral fellowship at Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS.  He has excellent expertise in the infectious diseases field with a concentration on bacterial genomics and antibiotic resistance. Liaqat joined our lab in June, 2022 and is working to elucidate resistance mechanisms and crosstalk between two-component signaling networks in Staphylococcus aureus to develop novel therapeutic strategies.


Itzel Montoya (Undergraduate Student) 

Itzel is a senior at UT Tyler pursuing a degree in Chemistry with a minor in Biochemistry. Following graduation, she plans to pursue her Masters degree in Biotechnology. Itzel previously worked in the Chemistry department as a teaching assistant, at Analytical Environmental Laboratories as a lab technician and volunteered with Bethesda Health Clinic. In doing so, she found a passion for the medical field and plans to pursue a career in medical research. In her free time, Itzel enjoys caring for houseplants and painting.

Salima Karki (Undergraduate Student) 

Salima transferred to UT Tyler in spring 2022 and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She completed an Associate degree of science from Dallas College (December 2020) where she was a member of the phi theta kappa honors society. She previously worked as a medical scribe and is passionate about the medical field and research. In general, She loves hiking, cooking, and reading books. She plans to continue a career in research and/or the medical field. 

Amir Mekakda (Undergraduate Student)

Amir Mekakda is a Sophomore at UT Tyler who is looking forward to a career in the medical field. He is a certified pharmacy technician and continues to work as one. Has an interest in antibiotic-resistant bacteria and is passionate about learning more about human diseases. He is always eager to learn more!


Araceli Solis (Undergraduate Student)

Araceli is a freshman at UT Tyler pursuing a degree in Biochemistry. She has received her Associate's Degree of Science and has previously worked as a patient care technician. She is a part of Greek life at UT Tyler and has found great interest in research and medicine. Through her time in the lab, she has become curious about the growing field of medicine and hopes to one day pursue it!

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