A pair of students captured key awards during the 10th annual meeting of the Michigan Physiological Society in late June.
Andrew Butcko, a fourth-year doctoral candidate working under the mentorship of Emilio Mottillo, Ph.D., assistant professor of Physiology, won second place for his oral presentation, “Does PNPLA3-I148M Alter the Association between Fatty Liver and Cardiovascular Disease?”
Originally from Saline, Mich., Butcko, 28, received a master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from Central Michigan in 2020. His research focuses on understanding how environmental factors such as diet, physical activity, pollutants, etc., as well as genetics, interact to influence the risk of developing cardiometabolic diseases such as fatty liver and coronary artery disease.
“This year’s 10th annual MPS meeting finally returned to an in-person event at Alma College after a three-year virtual hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it was an absolute blast,” Butcko said. “The meeting always has a special focus on trainee development and provides great networking opportunities for students to get together and discuss their research. I had a great time at the meeting and will definitely return in the future.”
Following the completion of his doctoral studies at WSU, Butcko plans to continue in academia as a professor and research scientist specializing in cardiometabolic disease.
Anna Murphy, a 21-year-old undergraduate student studying biology at Kalamazoo College and working with Patrick Mueller, Ph.D., associate professor of Physiology, won first place for her oral presentation, “Role of Ovarian Hormones on proBDNF Levels in the Rostral Ventrolateral Medulla: Influences Related to Neuronal Plasticity and Sympathetic Control of Blood Pressure.”
“I was super excited to get the chance to present my work at MPS, and I’m so grateful for all the support both my lab and the WSU Department of Physiology have given me,” said Murphy, who plans to apply to graduate schools to study biomedical research after she graduates.