JABSOM GRADUATE STUDENT Kelsey Roe receives Koenig Foundation Award in Medicine

How does West Nile virus get into the brain?  Kelsey O. Roe, a 2nd year PhD student in the Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology (http://blog.hawaii.edu/tropicalmedicine/), at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), has developed a mouse model to study how this occurs.  Ms. Roe has published her findings in the J Gen Virol. 2012 Jun;93(Pt 6):1193-203 in a peer-reviewed article titled, ‘West Nile virus-induced disruption of the blood-brain barrier in mice is characterized by the degradation of the junctional complex proteins and increase in multiple matrix metalloproteinases’.  For this work, she was awarded a 2013 Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Award, Honolulu Chapter and a $5000 prize.

Kelsey Roe and Saguna Verma.

Kelsey Roe and Saguna Verma.

On hand to support Ms. Roe were JABSOM Dean Jerris Hedges, MD, Dr. Vivek Neurkar, Chair of Tropical Medicine, Dr. Eric Holmes, Director of Research, Dr. Mariana Gerschenson, Director of Graduate Programs, Dr. Sandra Chang, Professor and Saguna Verma, Assistant Researcher.

The ARCS Foundation Honolulu Chapter ARCS Website held its Annual Achievement Award Banquet on May 6, 2013 at the Outrigger Canoe Club.  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.  The ARCS Foundation Honolulu Chapter has provided 597 awards totaling more than $1.7 million to University of Hawai`i scholars since 1974.

Pictured is Ms. Roe, wearing her medal, with Saguna Verma.

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