Fiona Ho Jing Min, Clarice Siow Jing Rou, and Ngu Hui Ling are three UCSI University Doctor of Medicine (MD) programme students chosen to participate in a year-long, high-impact research project at Harvard Medical School Brigham and the Women’s Hospital in the US.
“I feel honoured to be selected and given a chance to engage with the research community at Harvard,” Ho told Star.
The three have been given the opportunity as a part of the university’s Star Trek programme, which selects UCSI students for high-impact research at the top universities in the world.
They are among 13 participants from the varsity who have been offered the Harvard opportunity since 2014.
The three will concentrate their research on aldosterone signalling, where they will look at what causes aldosterone alterations and how those changes affect the body. Adrenal glands release the steroid hormone aldosterone. Its main function is to control the body’s water and salt balance, which impacts blood pressure.
Because cardiovascular diseases are the most significant cause of death worldwide, their research aims to understand better the hormonal process that influences them.
According to Siow, who cited data from the World Health Organisation, 17.9 million people worldwide died from cardiovascular illnesses in 2019, accounting for 32 per cent of all fatalities that year.
She said aldosterone plays a significant role in the pathophysiology of heart failure. The health of one’s cardiovascular system is indirectly impacted by hypertension, which is controlled by this hormone, according to Ho.