Biology News

Marwa Latif Presents Research at Symposium

April 17, 2009
Study looks at the role of insulin in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Marwa Abdel Latif ’09 presented, “A Mystery: Insulin Role in Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)” at the Symposium for Artists & Scholars on April 17, 2009 at Randolph College.

Latif conducted the research project with her faculty mentor, Kristy Bliss, associate professor of biology, while an undergraduate student at Randolph College.

An abstract of her project follows...

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common heterogeneous endocrine disorder, affecting 10% of women of reproductive age worldwide. PCOS has several syndromes, but hyperandrogenism and hyperinsulinemia are the most commonly occurring ones. Most studies show that these two syndromes are strongly correlated. The strong correlation led to extensive research seeking to explain the relationship between insulin and androgen in women with PCOS. Specifically, scientists wanted to determine if either insulin or androgen is the primary factor in developing PCOS. Over decades of research, data have implicated insulin as the primary factor of PCOS rather than androgen. Until recently no mechanism has been suggested to explain the cause-effect relationship between insulin and androgen. In May 2008, however, the serine phosphorylation hypothesis was proposed. The hypothesis suggests that an inherited disorder in the postreceptor of the insulin receptor might provide a possible explanation for multiple PCOS syndromes, including hyperandrogenism.

The Student Symposium of Artists and Scholars

The Student Symposium of Artists and Scholars provides Randolph College students from all classes and disciplines the opportunity to present the results of their research, scholarship, and creative work to the entire College community and beyond.

The two-day symposium, modeled after a typical academic conference, features oral presentations of student research, readings of creative work, musical performances, and exhibitions of student artwork. The symposium also inludes a poster session, reception and a keynote address from a noteworthy academic speaker.

Learn more at

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