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SUNY Downstate Faculty, Graduate Student Receive Recognition from the American Heart Association

Brooklyn, NY – Liye Zhou, MS, a graduate student at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in the laboratory of Distinguished Professor of Cell Biology Mahmood Hussain, PhD, has been granted a competitive pre-doctoral American Heart Association (AHA) fellowship for her proposal entitled, "Identification of Human MicroRNAs Modulating ApoB and ApoA1 secretion."

In addition, an abstract by Dr. Hussain and Research Assistant Professor Ahmed Bakillah, PhD, DSc, entitled, "Adipose Specific Microsomal Triglyceride Transfer Protein Deficient Mice Are Resistant to High Fat Diet Induced Obesity," which had been presented at a 2015 AHA Specialty Conference earlier this year, was ranked in the top 10 percent of presented abstracts and among the "Best of the AHA Specialty Conference."

“These are both great acknowledgements, and constitute the latest uplifting reminder of all of the outstanding research that is being done in the Department of Cell Biology and throughout SUNY Downstate,” said Christopher A. J. Roman, PhD, associate professor and interim chair of the Department of Cell Biology.

Ms. Zhou’s proposal involved identification of new microRNAs to simultaneously counteract high plasma LDL and low HDL, major risk factors of cardiovascular diseases, the leading cause of death in the United States.

Dr. Hussain’s and Dr. Bakillah’s abstract focused on demonstrating how a protein that transfers fats may contribute to obesity. They suggested that agents that inactivate the protein may prove useful as anti-obesity drugs.

The abstract was invited to be re-presented at AHA’s Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Florida in November. Scientific Sessions attract nearly 18,000 attendees each year, with a global presence from more than 100 countries. It includes presentations and discussions on basic, translational, clinical, and population science from the world's leaders in cardiovascular disease.


About SUNY Downstate Medical Center

SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative including the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT for early-stage and more mature companies, respectively.

SUNY Downstate ranks twelfth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools. More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.