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HHP Undergrad to Present Poster at U.S. Capitol.

HHP nutrition program major, Nada Sarraj is participating at the "Posters on the Hill" event, at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., on April 13th. She is presenting a poster detailing research on the effects of exercise in alleviating stress. This poster, "Moderate Treadmill Exercise Prevents Oxidative Stress-Induced Anxiety-like behavior in Rats," will be showcased in the Rayburn House Building, which is one of facilities used by the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Nada Sarraj (photo: The Daily Cougar)

Sponsored by the Council of Undergraduate Research (CUR), the annual event showcases students' research efforts to members of Congress and representatives of higher education funding agencies.

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Nada Sarraj with her mentor Dr. Salim (photo: UH Campus News)

Nada was featured on the UH Campus News website, below is a excerpt from the story:

"This is a wonderful opportunity, and I look forward to both presenting this poster and representing UH," said Sarraj. "I am particularly excited about this event because I get to share the experience with my mentor Dr. Samina Salim, who will accompany me to the Capitol. She is amazing. She's taught me everything I know about research. "

Under the guidance of Salim, research assistant professor in the UH College of Pharmacy, she compared two groups of rats that were exposed to anxiety-inducing medications. One group was exercised regularly, and the other group had limited physical activity. At the conclusion of the study, Salim and Sarraj found that the rats with prior exercise had little to no oxidative stress or anxiety.

UH student newspaper, The Daily Cougar also featured Nada's upcoming trip to Washington, D.C. in an article titled "Student’s work receives national recognition", below is an excerpt from the article:

“Anxiety disorders affect approximately 40 million people in the U.S.,” Sarraj said. “Although effective treatments for anxiety disorders are available, a vast majority of anxiety patients experience side effects from these medications. The failure to treat these patients costs $42 billion a year in lost productivity. Therefore, improving the understanding of mechanisms of anxiety is important.”

To test her theory, Sarraj injected two groups of rats with a drug called L-Buthionine-(S,R)-sulfoximine, or BSO, which increases stress levels. One of these groups was then subjected to moderate treadmill exercise before being reevaluated.