Congratulations to graduate student Kendall Arslanian on receiving the Downs International Health Student Travel Fellowship. Kendall won this fellowship for her project “Nutritonal and genetic correlates of infant adiposity in Samoa”. Kendall’s study will investigate whether a missense mutation in the CREBRF gene is associated with increased total fat or altered patterns of fat deposition (visceral vs. subcutaneous) at birth and four months of age. This project will also investigate how maternal pregnancy nutrition may interact with the allele or be independently associated with infant fat deposition.
The Downs International Health Student Travel Fellowship is named after Wilbur G. Downs (1913-1991), M.D., M.P.H., a former professor at Yale who counseled students to get outside the classroom and away from home and travel to where pressing public health and medical problems exist. Since 1966, the Downs Fellowship has provided opportunities for almost 400 students to live, learn, work and do research in overseas settings. Downs Fellows are challenged with conducting research in the context of their host countries’ culture, health problems and resources.