Uduak-headshotUduak Udoh, a fourth year Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine (PBMM) doctoral student, in the laboratory of Dr. Shannon Bailey was awarded the Enoch Gordis Research Recognition Award at the 2014 Research Society on Alcoholism’s (RSoA) 37th Annual Scientific Meeting in Bellevue, WA, for her work on alcoholic liver disease and the molecular circadian clock. Uduak presented her results from her dissertation project that was judged in a research poster session and an oral podium presentation.

With the assistance of the UAB Department of Pathology Travel Award and RSoA Student Merit Award, Uduak attended the RSoA Meeting and presented her work titled: “Hepatic Glycogen Metabolism is Impaired by Alcohol Consumption: Possible Role of the Liver Molecular Clock.” Her studies demonstrate that chronic alcohol consumption significantly decreases glycogen levels in the liver by disrupting diurnal oscillations of critical glycogen metabolism and signaling regulatory genes and proteins that are under control of the molecular circadian clock.  Glycogen is a key store of glucose needed for maintenances of energy metabolism and blood glucose levels.  While chronic alcohol consumption is known to disrupt circadian behaviors (e.g., sleep), emerging studies show that chronic alcohol consumption disrupts clock in peripheral tissue including the liver and that this contributes to liver pathology.  Ultimately, her studies address this thought-provoking question and highlight the molecular clock as a novel therapeutic target for alcoholic liver disease.

The Enoch Gordis Research Recognition Award is named after Enoch Gordis, M.D., a former director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). This award is given by the RSoA and NIAAA in recognition of outstanding biomedical and psychosocial research among graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.