High School Students Experience a PhUn Week Presentation by Faculty and View the Simulation Center and Research Labs at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

The 2017 PhUn week, sponsored and supported by the American Physiological Society was held at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Campus on November 7, 2017. Forty students (grades 9-12), two teachers and four presenters participated in the session. The demographic breakdown of the students are as follows: six males and thirty-four females. Among the students group who participated in the program, there were three Hispanic/Latino students, four Asians, fourteen Black or African Americans, fourteen White students and three listed as other. The group received a warm welcome to UAMS campus from Mr. Nicholas Pettus, a diversity specialist from the Center for Diversity Affairs. This was followed by followed by a brief introduction of the faculty speakers from Dr. Chowdhury. Drs. Ware, Wight, and Lipsmeyer (all from the Department of Physiology & Biophysics) addressed the students about their research in various areas of Physiology, focusing on various models that they used to understand the mechanisms of many types of disease processes. After these presentations, the students were divided into two groups and were given a tour of the UAMS State of the Art Simulation Center. In the Simulation Center, students were given an opportunity to listen to heart and lung sounds of one another, experienced how to perform CPR and intubate the training dummy, ‘Manikin,’ and viewed Noel, the birthing mannequin. Then the students rotated through the research laboratories of Drs. Chowdhury and Lipsmeyer, where they were introduced to a range of facilities used for research in molecular and cell biology. The brief exposure to these state-of-the-art research facilities provided a means to foster the students’ interest in science, and to obtain hands-on-experience that may be useful in the students’ summer research projects. Mrs. Melissa Donham, Chair of the Science Department and Scientific Advisor for the Little Rock Central High School and the Science Club, spoke highly of the opportunities afforded to her students through the PhUn Week. Dr. Chowdhury has conducted this event for almost ten years with support from the American Physiological Society.

Dr. Chowdhury received his post graduate degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. His current research program is aimed at studying the mechanism/s of induction of pancreatic pathophysiology by nicotine in a rodent model. In addition, Dr. Chowdhury is also conducting NASA related research dealing with microgravity and its effects on brain and pancreatic physiology. Dr. Chowdhury is a participant in medical and graduate school teaching and serves as Course Director in several graduate level courses. Dr. Chowdhury mentors summer students from freshmen medical class, high schools of Central Arkansas Region and Arkansas School of Science and Mathematics. Dr. Chowdhury serves as science fair judge in local high schools, Central Arkansas Regional, State and Junior Academy of Science. He serves in various capacities to the Society Sigma XI both locally and at the national lev. Dr. Chowdhury served as President of American Scientists of Indian Origin in USA (ASIOA) for two years and also as President for the International Society for the Prevention of Tobacco Induced Diseases (ISPTID) for two years. Dr. Chowdhury serves as an Ad-hoc reviewer to numerous granting agencies, peer reviewed journals and is a member of the Editorial Boards of several journals. He is an author of over 135 peer reviewed publications including several book chapters and over 315 professional scientific meeting presentations

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