Shafi Lodhi Earns Travel Award from International Society of Psychiatric GeneticsUniversity of Missouri junior Shafi Lodhi attended the World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 10-14, after receiving a 2011 Alcohol Travel Award in the amount of $1,500 from the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics.
The World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics is the major psychiatric genetics meeting of the year, where hundreds of researchers and clinicians from all over the world converge to discuss advances in the field.
“It was really humbling to receive this award as an undergraduate student and get the chance to travel to Washington, D.C. to learn about research being done by leaders in the field,” said Lodhi, who is from Columbia, Mo. and is majoring in biology, history and psychology at Mizzou.
Lodhi’s research examines epigenetic modifications in a region of the brain called the basal forebrain to see how they may affect insomnia.
“Insomnia is one of the strongest symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and is a predictor of relapse into alcoholism,” Lodhi said. “We found that alcohol dependent rats had a significant reduction in the number of cells with acetylated histone compared to the control rats.”
Lodhi has presented at the University of Missouri’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievements Forum and is serving as an Undergraduate Research Ambassador at MU. He has also been a Conley Scholar through the MU School of Medicine, a Discovery Fellow and a National Merit Scholar.
Lodhi volunteers with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and has worked with the Judicial Peer Advisory Court Justice, the Missouri Student Association Student Court Justice, the Muslim Student Association, the Muslim Student Organization of Mizzou and the Student Health Advisory Council.