How does marijuana affect the brain? Can you see the affects on an MRI scanner? Those questions helped inspire research by Rachael Gonzales, whose work earned recognition with a 2012 Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Award. Solving mysteries associated with heart disease and ciguatera poisoning motivated the research of April Darrow and Christie Wilcox, who along with Gonzales, were awarded $5,000 prizes for their outstanding work.
Gonzales, a Ph.D. candidate in the Clinical Research Graduate Program, is studying brain alterations associated with marijuana use using an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner.
Wilcox, a Ph.D. candidate in the Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Program, is studying ciguatera poisoning in the grouper: Cephalopholis argus, commonly known as roi.
Darrow, a Ph.D. candidate in the Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Program, has discovered that the protein galectin-3 is involved in regulating glucose metabolism in endothelial cells in the aorta (heart artery), thus contributing to understanding diabetes and heart disease.
Dr. Mariana Gerschenson, John A. Burns School of Medicine Graduate Education Program Director, said
“These graduate students are some of our best. We are grateful to the ARCS members for their academic recognition of our students and in awarding them the $5000.00 prizes”.
The ARCS Foundation Honolulu Chapter ARCS Website held its Annual Achievement Award Banquet on May 7, 2012. The ARCS mission is to advance science and technology in the United States by providing financial awards to academically outstanding U.S. citizens studying to complete degrees in science, engineering and medical research.
Pictured, right to left: Christie Wilcox, Dr. Mariana Gerschenson, April Darrow, and Rachael Gonzales.