Student research selected for presentation at world scientific conference

Fizza Abbas, MS 5, Arfaa Ali, MS 5, and Asha Nookala, MS 4
Fizza Abbas, MS 5, Arfaa Ali, MS 5, and Asha Nookala, MS 4

Three students at the School of Medicine are the lead authors of research projects that were selected for presentation at Experimental Biology 2013 this April in Boston. The conference is annually one of the largest scientific gatherings of researchers and scientists from the fields of pathology, pharmacology, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and nutrition.

Each of the students, Fizza Abbas, MS 5, Arfaa Ali, MS 5, and Asha Nookala, MS 4, were recipients of the School’s Sarah Morrison Student Research Award and will present their completed findings at the annual Student Research Summit this spring. All three worked under the direction of Betty Herndon, Ph.D., research associate professor, and Tim Quinn, senior technologist.

“Every year we have two or three students whose work is presented at Experimental Biology,” said Agostino Molteni, M.D., Ph.D., director of student research. “But this year is different because all three were winners of the Sarah Morrison Award and each one will be giving the presentations as the first author. That is unusual for a small institution like ours.”

Abbas conducted her work on angiotensin II and its role in fat embolism-induced lung disease. Ali explored the effects of omega 3 fatty acids on fatty liver disease and obesity. Nookala’s work focused on the use of curcumin, a popular spice, as a potential dietary supplement to battle fatty liver disease and general obesity.

A fourth research project from the School’s Department of Pathology, in which three students participated, was also selected for presentation at the Experimental Biology conference. Elizabeth Black, MS 4, Jessie Friedrich, MS 4, and J. Chris Tanner, MS 4, were part of a project on fat embolism syndrome following bone fracture for which Molteni was the lead author and the presenter.

“By being a part of these research projects and presentations, these students will have a better understanding of the explosion of information that is available and how to share information and interact with faculty members from other institutions,” Molteni said.

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