Please tell us about yourself

Suleman Hussain, a third-year international student from Mumbai, India, has always been interested in pharmaceutical science.

After completing his Bachelor’s of Science in pharmacy at Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT) in India, Hussain was looking for opportunities to further his career.

At first, Hussain was apprehensive at the idea of studying in America.

“I had never lived away from family before,” Hussain explained. “So even the basics like cooking, cleaning, and living alone was new for me. The whole independence came in after moving here so that was a big part—I’ve grown so much.”

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How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and unique career?

Hussain said that he was drawn to the work of Dr. Addanki Pratap Kumar in the Department of Pharmacology at UT Health Science Center. He did his PhD in Pharmacology at Austin.

“The work is really exciting and the research going on at the Health Science Center is amazing,” Hussain said. “To be part of it is something that I’m very excited about.”

He is currently working in Dr. Kumar’s lab to develop novel radio sensitizers and novel drug treatments for prostate cancer.

Tell us about your work

“Usually patients receive a large dose of radiation therapy and it is curative in the beginning but it is associated with many side effects…if we are able to reduce the dose of the radiation therapy by using a radio sensitizer that will lead to lesser side effects and give patients a better life.”

Recently, Hussain recently presented at the American Association for Cancer Annual Meeting 2015 in Philadelphia where he won theMillennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Scholar-in-Training Award and the Young Investigator Award from the American Association of Indian Scientists in Cancer Research.

How did the award help you?

The Scholar-in-Training Award gave him the opportunity to network with executives from Pfizer, Inc. and learn more about how to get into industrial research.

“It helped me gain the knowledge of what I need to help me get there and also see some great work around the world. AACR is almost like an international conference so I’m really excited to have seen posters and heard talks from great scientists.”

As a scientist from India, Hussain explained that it was great to attend the American Association of Indian Scientists in Cancer Research meeting.

“It’s more challenging for us, we’ve left our home country to gain this knowledge by coming here so it’s tough,” Hussain said. “The conference helps Indian scientists get together and form associations in their work. In general, I see myself as a scientist and not just an Indian scientist but it’s still nice to have a community away from home.”