April 2013 Researcher of the Month - Mariane Abdillahi, PhD

Mariane Abdillahi, PhDCurrent Studies
I am currently investigating the signaling mechanisms by which the aldose reductase (AR) pathway contributes to the vulnerability of the myocardium during ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury.  My research focuses specifically on the role of autophagy in AR mediated I/R injury.  Studies have provided contrasting conclusions on whether induction of autophagy is protective during I/R, therefore, my aim is to determine whether increased flux via AR influences autophagy induction during I/R injury. 

My research and collaboration with others in the Diabetes Research Program has been instrumental in allowing me to further develop my understanding of the nutritionally regulated biochemical pathways, which occur in obesity, diabetes and during the aging process.

1.  Geliebter A, Iching L, Abdillahi M, Jones J. Satiety following intake of potatoes and other carbohydrate test meals. Ann Nutr Metab. 2012 Dec 4; 62(1):37-43.

2.  Abdillahi M, Ananthakrishnan R, Vedantham S, Shang L, Zhu Z, Rosario R, Zirpoli H, Gabbay  K, Ramasamy R, Cardiac glycogen synthase kinase-3β phosphorylation is altered in human aldose reductase expressing mice during ischemia-reperfusion.  Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2012 Aug 1; 303(3):H297-308. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00999.2011. Epub 2012 Jun 1.

3.  Shang L, Ananthakrishnan R, Li Q, Quadri N, Abdillahi M, Zhu Z, Qu W, Rosario R, Touré F, Yan SF, Schmidt AM, Ramasamy R.  Rage modulates hypoxia/reoxygenation injury in adult murine cardiomyocytes via JNK and GSK 3 beta signaling pathways.  PLoS One.  2010 Apr 9;5(4):e10092. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010092.


Public Speaking and Presentations
Poster Presentation at Keystone Symposia.  “Aldose Reductase impairs autophagy induction in ischemic hearts” (Keystone, Colorado, 2013) - ‘Future of Science Fund’ Scholarship Recipient 

Poster Presentation at Department of Medicine Day.  “Aldose Reductase mediated ischemia reperfusion injury: The Role of Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β”.  (NYU School of Medicine, 2011) -  Excellence in Research Award

Poster Presentation at Experimental Biology.   “Aldose Reductase, Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β, and autophagy in ischemic hearts”. (Washington, DC, 2011)

Poster Presentation at The Society for Heart and Vascular Metabolism.   “Aldose Reductase, Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β, and autophagy in ischemic hearts”. (Kananaskis, Canada, 2010)

Future plans
In the future, I plan to continue my research training and work to understand the role of triglycerides in metabolism and the pathogenesis of diabetic vascular disease.  My long term goal is to employ my scientific training and communication skills to pursue a career in science policy with the aim of understanding how scientific research drives recommendations and implementation for public policies.