MU researchers present at Brazil conference
HUNTINGTON -- Two investigators from the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University traveled to Sao Paolo, Brazil, last month to present their research at the World Congress on Endometriosis.
Dr. Nalini Santanam, a professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology, and doctoral student Kristeena Ray said they looked forward to participating in the conference, which took place April 30 to May 3.
The congress is every three years and brings together scientists, clinicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals involved in research or treatment of endometriosis -- a chronic, inflammatory condition that affects young women and adversely impacts their fertility and quality of life.
"Though 10 to 15 percent of young women suffer from endometriosis and almost two-thirds of these women suffer from chronic pain, the exact nature of this disease is not very well understood," Santanam said, in a news release. "My laboratory has a long-standing interest in understanding why some women get endometriosis and have pain. We are very honored that our abstracts were chosen for presentation at this meeting."
The women's study was one of six to be awarded the Rodolphe Maheux Travel Grant, which is awarded by the World Endometriosis Society to help young researchers attend scientific meetings.
The balance of Ray's travel expenses are being funded by the university's Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program and the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology.
Ray is a third-year Ph.D. candidate. She works in Santanam's laboratory studying the epigenetics of pain in endometriosis -- the changes caused to DNA and genes by environment and lifestyle. Last summer, she was selected for the university's Chancellor's Scholar Program, an initiative to help ensure the academic success of underrepresented minority doctoral students.
Their research is partially funded through Marshall's partnership with the University of Kentucky and the National Institutes of Health's Clinical and Translational Science Awards program aimed at speeding the time for laboratory discoveries to benefit patients.
The researchers expressed their appreciation to Dr. Robert Nerhood and Dr. David Jude, the past and present chairmen of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology for their support and acknowledged Sandy White and Carla Cook for coordinating the clinical study.
The also expressed appreciation to Dr. Brenda Mitchell, a professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
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