Along with students from Harvard, MIT, and Stanford, Khanh Do, a doctoral student at LSU Health New Orleans School of Graduate Studies, was invited to present her research at the Schlumberger Foundation’s Faculty for the Future Fellows and Alumnae Forum during the Session with Outstanding Fellows.
Do, who is conducting research in Dr. Nicolas Bazan’s laboratory at LSU Health New Orleans Neuroscience Center of Excellence, presented her work and findings on elovanoids in age-related macular degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease. Elovanoids, biochemical triggers made from an omega-3 fatty acid, were recently discovered by the Bazan lab. Elovanoids, bioactive chemical messengers released in response to cell injury, protect cells by controlling the genes involved in the development of retinal and neurodegenerative diseases.
“Khanh's dedication and talent have allowed her to identify a new molecular mechanism of elovanoids targeting senescence and age-related macular degeneration genes,” says LSU Health New Orleans Boyd Professor Nicolas Bazan, MD, PhD, director of LSU Health New Orleans Neuroscience Center of Excellence and Do’s mentor.
Do has been a Fellow of the Schlumberger Foundation's Female Faculty for the Future since 2016. According to the Schlumberger Foundation, “The fellowships represent the Schlumberger Foundation’s long-term investment in a community of highly qualified and recognized role models who are contributing to narrowing the gender gap in STEM disciplines by inspiring more women to study science. Fellowships are awarded based on the applicant’s academic ability, leadership qualities, and engagement in outreach activities towards underserved communities with STEM as a development instrument in their home countries. Fellowship recipients have all achieved academic excellence throughout their studies, often despite considerable challenges and traditional barriers to education.”
The United States Government made it possible for Do, who is from Vietnam, to pursue her interest in research on retinal and neuronal degenerative diseases at LSU Health New Orleans Neuroscience Center of Excellence through a Vietnam Education Foundation scholarship. She chose LSU Health New Orleans because of its discoveries of the protective properties of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and its derivatives, and their potential therapeutic use.
“We are proud of our graduate students who, like Khanh Do, are doing exceptional work and are being recognized nationally and internationally in their chosen fields of research,” added Joseph Moerschbaecher, PhD, dean of LSU Health New Orleans School of Graduate Studies.