USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)

First Advisor

Thesis Director: Jeffry Fasick, Ph.D. Associate Professor, College of Natural and Health Sciences University of Tampa

Second Advisor

Thesis Committee Member: Scott Burghart, Ph.D. Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Third Advisor

Thesis Committee Member: Thomas Smith, Ph. D Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida St. Petersburg


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

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In this thesis, the topic and applications of drug repurposing are explained. Drug repurposing is the process of finding new biological targets for existing drugs which have already been approved for treatment of other diseases, or whose targets have already been discovered [1]. The fact that there are many drugs that interact with biological elements outside their targets is being continually reinforced as more and more drug repurposing success stories are revealed [2]. In this thesis, the process of drug development is outlined and the benefits and ethics of drug repurposing are discussed. Possible applications of drug discovery are outlined, namely malaria, and other infectious and neglected diseases in developing countries. Then, a brief history of chemotherapeutic drugs is outlined.

Following this discussion is a study analyzing previously obtained data of a drug library containing 1,639 diverse drugs that were run against colon tumor cells, pancreas tumor cells, and normal fibroblast cells. Data was collected based on how the drugs affected the cells regarding proliferation. The target drugs were the ones which decreased cell proliferation in tumor cells but had no or very little effect on normal cells. The top 12 drugs of this nature were selected for experiment duplication, and the data is analyzed. This paper outlines the top 12 drugs and what they were originally intended for, and how they might be useful in cancer treatment. Lastly, growth curves and colonogenic assays were performed using these drugs as an example of how drug repurposing might be studied in a laboratory setting.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

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