UB Celebrates Outstanding Students, Research Achievements

Published April 29, 2015

Students in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences were among those recognized for outstanding achievement during the University at Buffalo’s 11th Celebration of Student Academic Excellence.

The following awards were presented during the April 16 event, which included a student research forum.

Myelination Study Wins Sigma Xi Award

Zainab Khaku, a master’s student in pharmacology and toxicology, was one of three UB graduate students to receive a Sigma Xi research award.

He presented his research through the poster “Effects of Pharmacological M3R Inhibition on Myelination.”

Khaku works with his mentor, Fraser J. Sim, PhD, assistant professor.

UB’s chapter of Sigma Xi presents the awards to recognize outstanding original graduate research. This year, more than 50 students from across the university participated in the annual research poster competition.

2 Win Chancellor’s Awards, Highest SUNY Honor

Two seniors majoring in biomedical sciences won Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence — the highest State University of New York honor for undergraduate students.

They were among 15 UB students to receive the award recognizing exemplary graduating seniors. The awardees demonstrate outstanding academic achievement while making significant contributions to their campuses and communities.

The winners from the medical school are:

Sara-Ann E. Fox

Major: Biomedical Sciences; Minor: Pharmacology and Toxicology

Fox, of Syracuse, N.Y., contributed to research that discovered unique haplotypes of the MUC7 gene. She is hoping to publish findings that could help provide insight into asthma. Fox joined the UB women’s rowing team in 2011 and was captain this year. She is also a summer youth enrichment specialist with Say Yes to Education.

Karin R. Hsieh

Majors: Biomedical Sciences, Philosophy

Hsieh, of Webster, N.Y., an Honors Presidential Scholar, is the third author of a paper published in the American Journal of Physiology. She also worked with the Undergraduate Student Association as treasurer of the UB Skydiving Club, vice president of Alpha Epsilon Delta, assistant director of Student Affairs and an elected senator.

Hsieh received the Mary C. Whitman Scholarship. She also was a finalist for the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Program, which supports international academic exchanges.

Bratton Honored for Undergraduate Excellence

Biomedical sciences major David Bratton was one of 23 students across the university to receive a UB Undergraduate Award for Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creativity.

He showcased his study, “The Effect of Genes SULF2 & GNB4 on Oligodendrocyte Differentiation,” during the celebration event.

Bratton’s research aims to identify a clinically relevant pathway that can be exploited to help treat demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis. He studied genes that regulate the differentiation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells into oligodendrocytes, which produce myelin.

Bratton participates in the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP). He also was mentored by Sim.

Syed Wins Critical Language Scholarship

Nida A. Syed, a biomedical sciences major, will use a Critical Language Scholarship to travel to India to study the Urdu language. The awards are given by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The bureau offers intensive overseas summer language institutes in 13 critical-need foreign languages.