Biomed Undergraduate Receives National Fellowship

Maloree Khan, a senior biochemistry major and undergraduate researcher in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine Biomedical Sciences Department, was awarded a summer research fellowship from the American Physiological Society (APS).

Khan, a dean’s list student from St. Louis, received an APS STRIDE Fellowship. The STRIDE program — Short-Term Research Education Program to Increase Diversity in Health-Related Research — is designed to help undergraduate students nationwide from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, disadvantaged backgrounds, and individuals with disabilities to work with APS member researchers in the fields of cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, and sleep disorders research. Applicants must be full-time undergraduate students and have an overall GPA greater than 3.0.

Khan has a research interest in whether the chronic elevations of a particular hormone produces worse outcomes in patients by limiting the ability of certain receptors in blood vessels to regulate blood flow to the heart.

”I will be working in Dr. Shawn Bender’s lab,” Khan said. “My project will be focused on elucidating the impact of chronic hormonal changes associated with cardiovascular disease on a critical protective mechanism in the heart involving the regulation of coronary blood flow.”

“Maloree is a fantastic student,” said Bender, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, investigator at the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center and research health scientist at Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital. “She’s driven, engaged in her work, diligent, and responsible. These fellowships are nationally competitive; only 10 were awarded this year, and being selected as a fellow is indicative of Maloree’s high potential. She’s very intelligent, and a genuine, caring person.”

STRIDE Fellows complete 10 weeks of a summer research experience and professional development activities on their campus, plus interactive, online activities with fellows nationwide, exploring career options, responsible conduct of research, structuring research studies, developing abstracts, and presenting research posters.

“I was at home in St. Louis when I got the email saying that I’d been awarded the fellowship,” Khan said. “Being able to celebrate with my family made it even more special.”

Khan was also offered an MU summer fellowship, but students are not allowed to have both. The APS fellowship offered benefits to both Khan and Bender.

“It’s really a win-win situation,” Bender said. “She gets a summer stipend and gets to further her work and research experience. And, her fellowship frees up funds in my budget that now can be applied to other programs.”

All APS STRIDE Fellows receive two-year complimentary undergraduate student membership in the APS and a travel award to the annual Experimental Biology meeting, a multi-society interdisciplinary, biomedical, and scientific meeting that features plenary and award lectures, symposia, oral and poster sessions, a placement center, and an exhibit of scientific equipment, supplies, and publications. The 2018 meeting will be held April 21-25 in San Diego.

“Working in a physiology lab has provided me with valuable scientific skills and knowledge,” Khan continued. “All the members of my lab have helped me greatly with my project, and Dr. Bender actively supports all my scientific and academic pursuits, so I owe them all a great deal of thanks. Physiological research is important to me because of its translational benefits in medicine.”

When she is not at school or in the lab, Khan enjoys running, listening to music, cooking, and hiking.