Texas Tech University

ASN 2019 Conference Results: Nutritional Sciences Faculty and Students Recognized

ASN Nutritional Sciences FacultyThe Nutritional Sciences department recently participated at the American Society of Nutrition (ASN) 2019 conference in Baltimore, MD. Faculty, students, and postdoctoral fellows presented 22 oral and poster presentations and received 4 awards.

ASN 2019 Award Winners:

  • Doctoral Candidate, Mehrnaz Abbasi: Tied for 1st place in the Methods and Protocols topical area in the 5th Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Science Poster Competition.
  • Faculty member, John Dawson: Awarded as one of the top reviewers for the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) in 2018 during the ASN journals reception
  • Doctoral Candidate, Tariful Islam: Emerging Leaders Competition Finalist
  • Doctoral Candidate, Kalhara Menikdiwela: ASN Gerber Predoctoral Fellowship Award

Department Chairperson, Nikhil Dhurandhar, Ph.D., said many new collaborations are formed at the conference and existing ties are renewed as colleagues gather to learn about the latest cutting-edge research.

ASN Nutritional Sciences Faculty Conference"American Society of Nutrition conference is probably the largest nutrition conference that I am aware of," Dr. Dhurandhar said. "As nutrition researchers, our faculty, students and postdoctoral fellows are highly engaged in presenting their research at this conference, and in receiving feedback and input from peers."

Students can interact with world-renowned researchers and are exposed to scientific presentations that range from grant writing to job interviews. Some students leave with job offers or invitations for postdoctoral fellowships. Prospective students across the country are able to meet with Nutritional Sciences faculty to learn about a possible future at Texas Tech University.

Dr. Dhurandhar noted that the strong representation by Texas Tech's Nutritional Sciences department was hard to miss.

"I received many compliments about the quantity and quality of TTU-NS presentations," Dr. Dhurandhar said. "This positive image should help in attracting students and researchers to NS and to receive greater attention for our students and researchers and their research."

Doctoral candidate, Mehrnaz Abbasi, tied as the 1st place winner of the methods and protocols topical area in the 5th Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Science Poster Competition. Her presentation on transdermal delivery of nanoparticles using microneedles and iontophoresis showcased her findings surrounding common medication delivery methods.

ASN Conference Texas Tech"We have successfully shown that the combination of microneedles and iontophoresis can enhance delivery of nano encapsulated dye to subcutaneous adipose tissue," Mehrnaz said. "We envision that combination of MN and iontophoresis could offer a clinical superiority over traditional, invasive injections for combating obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic diseases by enhancing targeted delivery to subcutaneous adipose tissue and therapeutic efficacy and patient compliance and reducing toxicity."

Mehrnaz said she felt honored that her work on the delivery of innovative delivery approaches and its potential application for the treatment of metabolic disease has been recognized in the field.

"Attending national meetings and conferences in related fields provide good opportunity to present research findings and share results," Mehrnaz said. "By attending such events, students can also get a chance to meet senior researchers and scientists. It also helps to meet people with expertise in different research areas where they could get collaborations."