Second-year pathology resident Yaohong Wang, MD, PhD, was one of three recipients of the 107th United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology’s (USCAP) Stowell Orbison Award for his poster presentation titled, “Actin Dynamics Arrest by Loss of Villin and Gelsolin Perturb Intestine Epithelium Mitochondria Homeostasis–Link to Crohn’s disease,” during the organization’s annual meeting held in Vancouver, Canada.
The Stowell Orbison Award is given to up to four pathologists in training, based on their presentation and the scientific merit in the poster or platform format.
“I am so honored to receive this prestigious award,” Dr. Wang said. “It is an honor and recognition not only for our research, but also for our department and program. I would like to sincerely thank the new leadership in the Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine and the residency program for their strong support.”
Dr. Wang’s presentation was a collaboration with his postdoctoral mentor and former UTHSC faculty member Seema Khurana, PhD. The presentation explores Crohn’s disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract. It is a chronic condition for which there is no known cure. Crohn’s disease can lead to severe mechanical complications within the intestines, including obstruction, fistulae, and abscesses; and increased risk of carcinoma.
“Currently, we believe it is a complex disease which results from the interaction of environmental and genetic factors leading to immunological responses and inflammation in the intestine,” Dr. Wang said. “The mechanism for Crohn’s disease is still unknown. Our research found a novel mechanism which linked the epithelium cell actin cytoskeleton to this severe disease. Our present findings will help the related scientific community to better understand the disease and potentially develop new therapeutic strategies.”
“The Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine is very proud that Dr. Wang and his research is recognized for this distinguished award,” said Mahul B. Amin, professor and UTHSC Gerwin Chair for Cancer Research in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the College of Medicine. “Residents in training from all around the world present a substantial number of papers at this prestigious meeting. This accolade is a testimony of the cutting-edge basic and translational work done by members of the department and the pivotal role residents play in the research mission of the department.”
USCAP’s annual meeting is the largest gathering in the world of academic anatomic and molecular pathologists with over 4,500 pathologists from almost 80 countries in attendance. Over 3,000 abstracts were presented as posters and platforms. This year, the Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine in the College of Medicine at UTHSC, presented 13 abstracts, with eight residents giving poster presentations.