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Paramita Basu will represent the College of Arts and Sciences at TWU as that college's graduate student to receive the Virginia Chandler Dykes Scholarship on Feb. 27, at the Belo Mansion


Five Virginia Chandler Dykes Scholarship Awards (honoring one graduate student from each of TWU's five colleges) will be presented at the

17th Annual TWU Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Luncheon honoringDalePetroskey for his leadership in the community


With a passion for teaching and research, Denton resident Paramita Basu is pursuing a PhD in molecular biology from Texas Woman’s University, where she has a 3.95 GPA. She is currently an instructor of record in the Department of Biology at TWU and would like to become an independent faculty member and researcher within the next five years. She plans to complete her doctoral degree in the summer of 2019.

Basu has been named the Virginia Chandler Dykes scholarship recipient from the College of Arts and Sciences and will be honored on February 27 at the 17th Annual Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Luncheon, presented by Bank of Texas, Texas Woman’s University, and the Texas Woman’s University Foundation, at The Belo Mansion and Pavilion. 

Basu has been both a graduate research assistant and graduate teaching assistant for plant biology and life sciences laboratories since 2014. Her research project focuses on identifying plant chemicals and discovering the mechanism of action in cell cultures (neurons and cancer cells) for potential use in treating pain and cancers.

“The results of this interdisciplinary collaborative project will result in the discovery of new phytochemicals that could become the basis for new and effective pain relieving and anti-cancer drugs,” said Paramita Basu. “Reducing reliance on opioid-based and central nervous system-targeted pain medications will reduce addiction and optimize pain management.”

Before coming to TWU in 2012, Basu completed her master’s degree in plant biochemistry and molecular biology in 2010 and her bachelor’s degree in botany in 2008 at the University of Calcutta, India. She pursued a master’s for two years at TWU before transferring into the PhD program in 2014. She credits her parents and sister for her passion for learning and critical thinking.

“My elder sister Dr. Arpita Basu, who graduated with her PhD in nutritional sciences in 2001 and is an associate professor at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, has been my greatest inspiration in my pursuit of doctoral studies,” added Basu.  “Moreover, my parents have also played a key role by motivating and encouraging me to pursue my higher studies in the U.S.”

“I have learned so much and developed my mentorship skills through teaching,” added Paramita Basu. “In the future, I would also like to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship and collaborate extensively with cancer and pain researchers in the United States and worldwide.” 

In addition to her PhD project, Basu has also worked and published results of other independent projects including one that focused on the effect of mulberry extracts on diabetes and another on the estrogenic and antiestrogenic activities of dietary supplements.

“These projects employed novel experimental approaches and the results could be significant for the medical field in treating diabetes, osteoporosis and menopausal systems,” said Camelia Maier, PhD, professor, Department of Biology. “Paramita is one of the few students I have had who is able to design and schedule experiments to obtain meaningful and reliable results that have been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at national conferences.”

Her record of publications includes four articles, two of which are published in Pharmacognosy Research, one in International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and one in Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy, a book chapter published in Biomarkers in Disease: Methods, Discoveries and Applications; and ten peer-reviewed abstracts published in numerous scientific journals. Basu has presented her research as posters at the annual Experimental Biology conferences (2015-2018), American Pain Society (2016 and 2018), Society for Neuroscience (2016) and Sigma Xi (2015, juried presentation) meetings.

Basu is the recipient of multiple scholarships and travel awards based on her academic and research performances.  She is also an active member of the American Society for Nutrition, American Pain Society, Society of Neuroscience, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and honor societies such as Sigma Xi – The Scientific Research Society, Golden Key International Honor Society, and the National Society of Leadership and Success Honor Society.

“It feels wonderful to be selected from the College of Arts and Sciences to receive the Virginia Chandler Dykes Scholarship,” added Basu. “I am honored and humbled to receive this scholarship and would like to convey my gratitude to Virginia Chandler Dykes and the scholarship committee.”

Basu resides in Denton.

In addition to Basu, graduate students from the remaining four TWU colleges will be honored at the luncheon as recipients of Virginia Chandler Dykes scholarship funds: Patricia Flint, College of Education; Amie Bedgood, College of Nursing; Janice Kishi Chow, College of Health Sciences (OT); and Meghan Labiak, College of Business.

In the past 16 years, more than $700,000 has been raised for scholarships from the proceeds of this luncheon.  TWU’s 17th Annual Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Luncheon, on February 27 at the Belo Mansion and Pavilion, will honor Dale Petroskey, president and CEO, Dallas Regional Chamber as the 2019 recipient of the Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award.  Tickets for the February 27 luncheon are $175 for silver patron; $250 for gold patron.  For more information, call940-898-3865, visit, or email

Texas Woman’s University is the nation’s largest public university primarily for women with 15,500 students at its three locations in Denton, Dallas and Houston. Texas Woman’s is known for its contributions and leadership in the fields of education, nutrition, business, the arts and sciences, and especially in the nursing and health care professions. The university offers the student support, class sizes and campus esthetics more typically found at a private university. For more information, visit or call 940-TWU-2000.

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