Ohio Wesleyan University student Jemil Ahmed has earned an award from the Ohio branch of the American Society for Microbiology for his research into how an extract from the spice turmeric may aid severely ill animals.
Ahmed, a junior biology major from Ethiopia, is working with OWU faculty mentor Suren Ambegaokar to study how different concentrations of curcumin, an antioxidant found in turmeric, affects laboratory-maintained cell lines infected with vesicular stomatitis virus. The virus can cause severe illness in animals and livestock, including horses, cattle and sheep.
“Our preliminary data suggests that infection was reduced significantly in cells treated with curcumin,” Ahmed states in his research abstract. “This work will better inform our understanding of VSV pathology, and the potential use of curcumin as an antiviral therapeutic.”
For his work, Ahmed has earned the 2016 Allan A. Ichida Undergraduate Research Excellence: Best Undergraduate Poster Award from the Ohio branch of the American Society for Microbiology. The award was announced April 9 at The Procter and Gamble Co. headquarters in Mason, Ohio.
The award is named in memory of Ichida, a 1953 Ohio Wesleyan alumnus and OWU botany professor from 1961 to 1995. Ichida also served as president of the Ohio branch of the American Society for Microbiology. His water-quality research helped to secure “scenic river status” for the Olentangy River.
The American Society for Microbiology, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the largest life science membership organization in the world, with more than 39,000 members.
Information for this story was provided by Ohio Wesleyan University.