Mokadem Lab student researcher receives AGA summer fellowship

Hussein Herz, a first-year medical student in the lab of Mohamad Mokadem, MD, received the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Research Foundation’s Aman Armaan Ahmed Family Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship award.

Under the mentorship of Mokadem, assistant professor in Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Herz will study the role of peripheral endocannabinoid receptor-1 (CB1) on weight balance under variable diets. Titled “Examining the deferential role of CB1 in regulation of energy balance in mice on different diet compositions,” this project will aid Herz’s training and his aspiration to become a physician-scientist.

“I’m really thankful and honored for this opportunity and I appreciate the tremendous support I get from Dr. Mokadem to continue my research path and grow my passion in the gastroenterology field,” Herz said. “This research will help me down the road to understand how obesity affects patient’s lives and hopefully suggest new pharmaceutical therapy for patients suffering obesity using cannabinoid treatments.”

“The idea of the project was an extension of our latest released paper in Cell Report showing a key role of CB1 in regulating energy balance via the splanchnic nerve,” Mokadem said. “We are all excited for him and eager to see his career unfold.”

For a 10-week period starting in June, the AGA Research Foundation will give Herz and five other recipients a $5,400 stipend and $400 meal allowance. The fellowship supports undergraduate students who identify with an underrepresented group in biomedical research. Each fellow will conduct gastroenterology and hepatology research under the mentorship of top investigators.

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