Published December 21, 2012
Razan Alkhouri, MBBS, assistant professor of pediatric
gastroenterology, has won the 2012 Young Faculty Investigator
Award from the North
American Society for Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Alkhouri received the award—given to only one laboratory
scientist annually—for her research on paraoxonase (PON) gene
expression in pediatric patients with inflammatory bowel
Researchers believe that oxidative stress is one of several factors involved in the pathogenesis of IBD, a chronic relapsing inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.
PON genes, expressed in the human intestine, are thought to play a role in preventing this stress.
Alkhouri based her research on the hypothesis that PON gene expression is altered in individuals with IBD. Her work examines the effect of steroids on PON gene expression.
“Both IBD and steroids were found to modulate the PON genes, which suggests that PON genes might be a novel target for the management of IBD,” Alkhouri explains.
She presented her findings at NASPGHAN’s annual meeting in October.