(June 8, 2012)
Dr. S. Raza Shaikh, a biochemist at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, was recognized recently for his research involving omega-3 fatty acids and the body’s immune system.
Shaikh, an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, received the Early Career Award on May 28 at the biennial congress of the International Society for Fatty Acids and Lipids, held in Vancouver, British Colombia. He was introduced and awarded by Dr. Klaus Gawrisch, the chief of the Laboratory of Membrane Biochemistry and Biophysics at the National Institutes of Health. As part of the award, Shaikh presented a plenary lecture and platform talk on his research.
Shaikh is studying how omega-3 fatty acids may be used to disrupt the biophysical and biochemical lipid/protein plasma membrane organization of lymphocytes, or white blood cells, to suppress immunity in cases where it is harmful. His long-term goal is to develop omega-3 fatty acids as a dietary intervention for the prevention and treatment of inflammation-associated disorders. Inflammation is a type of immune response.
Omega-3 fatty acids are typically found in certain fish and in dietary supplements and have several known health benefits, such as reducing triglyceride levels.