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Monmouth University senior biology major Dharm Patel of Avenel, NJ, received a $600 trainee travel award from the American Society of Andrology (ASA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to present his research at the 37th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Andrology in Tucson, AZ from April 21 to 24, 2012.

The annual ASA meeting is a national and international gathering of approximately 300 scientists involved in basic and clinical research on male reproductive biology, endocrinology, and related areas.  The ASA Trainee Affairs Committee evaluates travel award applications from pre-doctoral, doctoral, post-doctoral, and clinical fellows and provides awards through support of a grant from the NIH. Of the seventeen trainees receiving awards, Dharm was the only undergraduate student to receive a travel award.

Dharm presented research he is carried out under the supervision of School of Science Dean and biology professor Dr. Michael Palladino as Dharm’s honors thesis.  Dharm’s work was selected for a poster presentation titled Up-regulation of Testicular Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1 Following Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Inflammation.  Bacterial infections of male reproductive organs are a cause of reduced fertility or infertility.  This research is designed to understand how reproductive organs sense invading bacteria and in turn active genes and proteins that are important for protecting tissues from damage by invading microbes.  Dharm’s research has revealed potentially novel interactions between inflammatory pathways in the testis and pathways that influence oxygen levels in the testis.

Dharm is an honors student who began his work with Dr. Palladino during the summer of 2010 through the School of Science Summer Research Program.  Last fall Dharm received first place for the best undergraduate student research presentation at the 2011 Sigma Xi International Conference and first place for best research poster presentation at the Metropolitan Association of College and University Biologists (MACUB) Conference. In April he was awarded second place for the School of Science Dean’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research and he was a recipient of a Jane Freed Award for Best Honors Thesis Proposal.  Dharm will begin a Ph.D. program in biomedical sciences at Rutgers University this fall. 

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Media contact: Petra Ludwig at 732-263-5507