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Four outstanding professionals from the neuroscience field will be the featured speakers at the Fifth Annual Raniyah T. Ramadan Symposium set for Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 1 p.m. in East Central University’s Estep Multimedia Media Center of the Bill S. Cole University Center.

The Ramadan Symposium, which is free and open to the public, is named in honor of the late Dr. Raniyah Ramadan, who was a research scientist in neuro-ophthalmology.

The symposium was established and is sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Tawfik Z. Ramadan, the parents of the late Raniyah Ramadan.

“Our daughter had a belief in promoting science and research, especially in the neuroscience field,” said Tawfik Ramadan. “We do this because we feel that we belong to ECU.”

The Ramadan Family established the Dr. Raniyah Ramadan Center for Undergraduate Research and Learning, which opened in 2015. The family also sponsors an internship for an ECU student at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center during the summers.

Parking for the symposium is available on the south side of the Bill S. Cole University Center.

Among the featured speakers are: Dr. Darren J. Lee, assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology of the Dean McGee Eye Institute at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City; Dr. Kelly M. Standifer, professor and chair of the Department Pharmaceutical Sciences and Richard T. Anderson Chair in Neuroscience in the College of Pharmacy at the OU Health Sciences Center; Dr. Timothy M. Griffin, associate member of the Aging and Metabolism Research Program for the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation at the OU Health Sciences Center and Dr. Faizah Bhatti, assistant professor of Pediatrics, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at the OU Health Sciences Center.

Here are short biographies on each featured speaker:

Dr. Darren J. Lee

Lee’s presentation will be “Assessing the Potential Migration Pattern of Regulatory T Cells.”

His special interests are in autoimmune uveitis and the mechanisms that provide resistance to relapse, understanding how ocular derived regulatory T cells function to provide resistance to autoimmune disease and identification of novel mechanisms to induce suppressor macrophages and regulatory T cells.

He received his bachelor of science degree in genetics from the University of California-Davis and a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of New Hampshire in Durham, N.H. He also received postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School, Schepens Eye Research Institute in Boston and Boston University School of Medicine.

Dr. Kelly Standifer

Standifer’s presentation is entitled “Co-Morbid Pain with PTSD.”

She is a member of the Oklahoma Center for Neuroscience and Harold Hamm Diabetes Center.

Her research interests, ultimately, is to develop alternative therapeutic options (to morphine) for the treatment of severe pain.

Standifer obtained her associate’s degree in natural science from St. Gregory’s College in Shawnee in 1982; a bachelor of science degree in zoology from Duke University in 1984 and a Ph.D. from the University of Florida in Gainesville in 1988.      

Dr. Timothy Griffin

Griffin’s presentation is titled “Reducing Osteoarthritis Pain in the Aging Population: Time to Step on it.”

His lab is studying how obesity contributes to the development of osteoarthritis by studying how changes in joint pressure and inflammation associated with excess fat contribute to the inflammatory process.

Griffin is currently adjunct associate professor in the Departments of Physiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Reynolds Oklahoma Center on Aging and the Department of Geriatric Medicine at the OU Health Sciences Center.

Dr. Faizah Bhatti

Bhatti’s presentation is entitled “Retinal Angiogenesis in the Preterm Infant: Oxygen and Beyond.”

Her research projects include novel inflammatory mediators in oxygen induced retinopathy and risk factors for surgical necrotizing enterocolitis in very low birth rate infants admitted to a Tertiary Care Neonatal Unit.

Bhatti did her residency at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa. and fellowship at the Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington D.C. She also holds medical degrees from the Aga Khan University Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan and the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pa.


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