Pursuing a PhD at the University of Kentucky, Sherif El-Refai divides his time between the doctoral program and conducting lung cancer research at the Black Lab. Sherif El-Refai also serves the Markey Cancer Center as an oncology pharmacist.
In recent news, the Markey Cancer Center published an article about an investigational medical device that received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for clinical trials. The center’s Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Clinic surgical director and the university’s chief of anesthesiology critical care played crucial roles in developing the Exatherm Total Body Hyperthermia System (Exatherm-TBH) to treat late-stage lung cancer.
Exatherm-TBH delivers heat throughout the body to eliminate cancerous cells. Unlike traditional therapies that only treat affected areas, the system focuses on total body hyperthermia with the use of a perfusion circuit. This allows medical professionals to circulate blood throughout the vascular system at a specific temperature. Because healthy cells have the ability to protect themselves from heightened body temperatures, researchers expect that Exatherm-TBH will be able to attack diseased cells without harming healthy ones.
Dr. Sherif El-Refai, a clinical oncology pharmacist at Markey Cancer Center, comes to his work with a research and business strategy focus. Dr. Sherif El-Refai received his PhD in pharmaceutical science from the University of Kentucky, where he conducted translational research into cancer treatment both locally and nationwide.
A multidisciplinary form of investigation, translational research operates at the intersection of laboratory work and clinical practice. It begins with the development of innovative therapeutics, after which it identifies appropriate test patients and administers the drug in a clinically responsible manner. This methodology represents a relatively new advancement in cancer research, prior efforts having been largely confined to the lab. However, recent progress in translational research and the development of lifesaving drugs, including groundbreaking treatments for breast cancer, have prompted an increase in funding for translational programs.
At the University of Kentucky's Markey Cancer Center, the integrated Drug Discovery, Delivery and Translational Therapeutics Program connects researchers and oncologists from the university's medical school as well as its top-ranked College of Pharmacy and its College of Engineering. Its efforts largely focus on rural populations in Kentucky, particularly those living in underserved regions of Appalachia. The only cancer center serving this population, it has received national recognition from the National Rural Health Association for its efforts in developing culturally connected research initiatives.
A PhD student at the University of Kentucky (UK), Sherif El-Refai conducts oncology research with a focus on lung cancer. Sherif El-Refai performs studies as part of the Black Lab team.
Actively involved with the National Lung Cancer Partnership and American Society of Clinical Oncologists, the Black Lab was established in 2004 at the College of Pharmacy at UK. The group designs wet-lab experiments to determine how control of gene expressions impacts cancer therapy response in patients. Studies consist of patient tumor samples and high- and medium-throughput gene expression analysis of cancer cell lines.
Current Black Lab researchers include doctoral, PharmD, graduate, and undergraduate students. Past lab members have achieved admission into a fellowship program at the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and published a paper in Cancer Biology and Therapy related to inhibition of class IA PI3K enzymes in non-small cell lung cancer cells. More recently, a Black Lab member joined Experimental Biology 2015 to present multiple posters on cancer research.
A PhD candidate at the University of Kentucky (UKY), Sherif El-Refai balances his studies with his responsibilities as an oncology pharmacist at UKY Hospital’s Markey Cancer Center. In this capacity, Sherif El-Refai conducts research for lung cancer.
There are a number of lung cancer treatment options that researchers have discovered and developed throughout the years. Depending on a patient’s personal choice or the stage of his or her cancer, a practitioner will help choose the treatment that will help provide the best outcome.
In patients who have non-small-cell lung cancer, physicians often perform surgery to remove tumorous growths from the lungs. The size of the contained growths determines whether the surgeon will remove lobes, small sections, or the entire lung. This option can be coupled with other treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, which can reduce the size of tumors prior to surgery or eradicate cancerous cells after tumor removal.
Additionally, patients can explore targeted drug treatments that focus on specific elements of cancer cells. For example, Bevacizumab prevents a tumor from creating the blood vessels that facilitate growth, while Crizonitib blocks a cancer cell’s ability to develop and spread throughout the body.
Physicians often recommend clinical trial participation to many patients who see little to no results from other forms of treatment. This unique regimen of care offers a variety of experimental procedures to patients. While they do not always guarantee results, clinical trials can help cancer researchers learn and improve treatment options.
Having already earned a doctor of pharmacy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Sherif El-Refai is now pursuing a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Kentucky (UK). Sherif El-Refai also draws on his experience as a pharmacist to serve as an oncology pharmacist at the UK Markey Cancer Center.
In a recent press release, the UK Markey Cancer Center announced that it partnered with the T.J. Samson Community Hospital in Glasgow, Kentucky, to expand Markey’s oncology program in the community and to offer additional resources to local patients. Markey states that the collaboration will help grow and improve a wide range of oncology services at T.J. Samson, including psychosocial support, patient navigation, and rehabilitation services. Through the formal collaboration, Markey and T.J. Samson hope to significantly strengthen cancer prevention and treatment in the state. The partnership between the two organizations is particularly important because Kentucky has one of the nation’s highest rates of cancer occurrence and mortality.
Markey will also help T.J. Samson prepare for the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer accreditation that is necessary for T.J. Samson to become part of the UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network (MCCAN). Currently a candidate member of MCCAN, T.J. Samson is working to become a full affiliate member.
A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Sherif El-Refai is currently an oncology pharmacist. Additionally, Sherif El-Refai is also a doctoral student working on lung cancer research at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, where he analyzes correlations pertaining to treatment of specific malignancies. His research is conducted at the Markey Cancer Center, which consists of four facilities.
The Ben F. Roach Cancer Care Facility provides a space for the individualized care and treatment of patients with cancer. It is the site for both inpatient and outpatient care, radiation medicine, ovarian cancer screenings, and bone marrow transplants, along with administrative services.
The Dorothy Enslow Combs Cancer Research Facility houses 25 laboratories used for cancer research, including those that study DNA and protein sequencing, high field NMR, and peptide synthesis. Within the building are also conference spaces and offices.
The M. Margrite Davis and Ralph E. Mills Magnetic Imaging and Spectroscopy Center is also used, in part, for research. In addition, the center provides patient care in the areas of magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy. This facility directly connects to the fourth facility, the Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson Cancer Facility for Women, which is the location for ambulatory treatment and care of the main cancers affecting women.
Pharmacist Sherif El-Refai resides in Cary, North Carolina. Sherif El-Refai earned a master of business administration with a concentration in competitive strategy and marketing and global management, from the University of Florida's Hough Graduate School of Business.
A part of Warrington College of Business Administration, the Hough Graduate School of Business received recognition from Eduniversal’s Best Masters Rankings 2014/2015 for its full-time MBA program, which ranked sixth among public schools across the United States. The same program also sits at the 28th spot in the list that ranks all U.S. master of business administration programs.
Joining the prestigious list are the university’s master of science in management and master of international business; both made the second spot among public schools. Other University of Florida programs to earn acknowledgement on Eduniversal’s Best Masters Rankings 2014/2015 include the working professional programs, master of science in information systems, and master of accounting. Additionally, the Warrington College of Business Administration received the 4 Palmes of Excellence accolade for its influence in international education.
Sherif El-Refai earned his doctor of pharmacy from the Eshelman School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Sherif El-Refai has held a number of professional pharmacy jobs, drawing on his education as well as his clerkship as a pharmacy technician at Eckerd’s Pharmacy.
The role of a pharmacy technician is to assist the pharmacist in virtually all areas of his or her business. Providing patients with their prescriptions and advising pharmacy shoppers with over-the-counter medication make up a large portion of a pharmacy technician’s job. When working with medicine, a technician might need to share information or otherwise communicate with any number of health care professionals, both inside and outside of the pharmacy.
Pharmacy technicians may additionally find themselves responsible for the management of medicine supplies, such as the pharmacy dispensary. A pharmacy technician who has gained adequate experience can take on additional administrative duties, including the management of other pharmacy staff members.
Business graduate Sherif El-Refai received his MBA in 2013 from the University of Florida’s Hough Graduate School of Business. Sherif El-Refai focused his studies on marketing, global management, and competitive strategy.
The Hough Graduate School of Business at the University of Florida offers several MBA programs to students, including an executive MBA, a traditional MBA, and a working professional MBA for entrepreneurs who wish to maintain their careers as they study. Several of the programs have received significant accolades in recent years.
In its 2013 publication Which MBA?, The Economist magazine placed the University of Florida’s executive MBA program at number 14 across the globe. Additionally, Financial Times rated the University of Florida's online MBA program as fourth worldwide on the merits of its 45% increase in alumnus salary since 2011.
The MBA programs director Dr. Alex Sevilla received an Impact Award as part of the 2014 Business in the Heart of Florida. Finally, U.S. News named the MBA program in the top five for value, acknowledging program graduates had the number-five best starting salary-to-debt load ratio in the United States.
Dr. Sherif El-Refai holds a doctorate in pharmacy and worked in the field for a number of years. Additionally, Dr. Sherif El-Refai has served with the Ecu Physicians Flu Clinic in Greenville, North Carolina, and as a representative for Operation Immunization-Flu Vaccines at the North Carolina State Fair.
Available by injection or nasal spray, the influenza vaccine offers patients a 60 percent less chance they will require treatment for the flu. The United States government recommends the vaccine for people aged 6 months or older and encourages vaccination as early as possible. Immunization is available in a trivalent format, which protects against three strains of flu, or a quadrivalent vaccine, which protects against four.
Anyone age-eligible for the vaccine may receive a traditional shot. Those 18 through 64 years of age may receive the intradermal shot, which involves a smaller needle. Individuals over 18 may also request an egg-free vaccine or a shot that contains virus material grown within an animal cell culture, while persons over 65 may request a high-dose shot. Quadrivalent shots are available in traditional format only, but patients aged 2 through 49 may request a nasal spray vaccine. Children 2 to 8 years of age receive preferential treatment for the nasal spray format.
Sherif El-Refai, who possesses a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy, has held a number of research and volunteer positions throughout the course of his academic career.