The Doris A. Howell Foundation to hold its trademark Health Luncheon Series with “Nutrition: A Novel Approach to Pain Management”

  • Foundation honored to preview the latest findings of the relationship between nutrition and pain management
  • Presentation promises to open the discussion on nutritional factors that exacerbate pain and recommend approaches to reverse it
  • Recipients of the new Howell Scholarships to be announced

San Diego, CA. - April 1 – The Doris A. Howell Foundation will be holding its trademark Luncheon Series with Dr. Robert Bonakdar on April 4th presenting the latest research on Nutrition and Pain Management.

While much has been said on the relationship between nutrition and health, caloric restriction and aging, stress and health, and what people should or should not be eating along with the role of appropriate supplementation, new approaches help clear the confusion on the role and benefits that proper nutrition has in today’s prevention, diagnosis and treatment of illness. Dr. Bonakdar’s presentation will address the common controversy over nutritional factors that may exacerbate pain and the numerous diets that play a role in the confusion around this topic. He will also present the recommended approaches that may reverse and ultimately help manage pain, including supplements. Always consult with your physician on any nutritional strategies to manage your pain.

“We are privileged that Dr. Bonakdar has agreed to speak on the relationship between nutrition and pain management, especially because this is exciting new data. His latest research has been designed, in part, to examine the role of anti-inflammatory foods, a new perspective on pain management“ comments Dr. Carole Banka, Vice Chair of the Howell Foundation Board of Directors.

The relevance of an organization like the Doris A. Howell foundation lies in its quarterly presentations of the latest research findings on the health topics that directly affect women. Partnering with medical and research leaders and institutions not only allows the Foundation to have access to vital information on women’s health, but helps fund the research scholarships that will, in turn, promote women’s health in the future.

A Partnership that Produces Results: Howell Scholars to Research New Topics in Women’s Health.

In partnership with UCSD, the Howell Foundation awarded over $14,800 in scholarships to undergraduates to allow them to pursue their research. Antibiotic resistance, cardiomyopathy, pre-eclampsia and papillary thyroid carcinoma are the areas of study that the Howell Scholars will be researching. The Doris A. Howell Foundation wishes them all success in their fields of research.

  • Erica Birkholz will be looking for new antibiotics to treat multidrug-resistant bacteria. Antibiotic resistant bacteria are common throughout the U.S., and often have devastating effects. It is essential that new antibiotics are found to combat bacteria that have become resistant to the antibiotics that are currently available. Erica will use a new approach called bacterial cytological profiling, which is more sensitive than traditional approaches, to screen for novel antibiotics. If her screening finds interesting bioactivities, the molecules will be purified and examined by mass spectrometry to characterize them. Mentor: Joe Pogliano, Ph.D.
  • Stephanie Myers will be researching the role of obscurin proteins for cardiac calcium handling. Although mainly thought of as a “man’s disease”, cardiomyopathies are the leading cause of death for women. Among the different cardiomyopathy types, arrhythmias caused by problems in calcium imbalances can be particularly devastating, as these types of cardiomyopathies are often undiagnosed and have a high prevalence of sudden death. A protein called obscurin plays an important role the way in which the heart cells handle calcium, and decreases in the levels of this protein may increase arrhythmias. Stephanie will investigate obscurin’s role in regulating calcium in cardiomyocytes, and characterize its function on a cellular and molecular level. Mentor: Stephan Lange, Ph.D.
  • Orysya Stus will be working on creating an in vitro model for the characterization of primary cytotrophoblastic cells. Pre-eclampsia is a serious complication of pregnancy. It is caused by abnormal activity of the placenta and is characterized by high blood pressure, proteinuria, seizures, and edema. Pre-eclampsia is often associated with defects in cytotrophoblast cells which are the basic functional units of the placenta. Orysys will use cytotrophoblast cells from human donors to create an in vitro system that can be used to study the factors that lead to abnormal activity of these cells in pre-eclampsia. Mentor: Mana Parast, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Angela Zuo
  • will be working on characterizing the lncRNA transcriptome in papillary thyroid carcinoma with RNA-sequencing. Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) accounts for approximately 85% of thyroid cancer cases in the U.S. and affects females over males by a ratio of about 3:1. Age-adjusted incidence rates for PTC have markedly increased over the past few decades, particularly among women in their forties. Thus far, a few genetic alterations have been implicated in papillary thyroid cancer progression, but much of the human genome has been relatively unexplored. Angela’s objective is to utilize next-generation RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) to identify a panel of mutations in a particular type of RNA whose aberrant expression contributes to the pathogenesis of papillary thyroid carcinoma. Mentor: Martin Haas, Ph.D.

For more information about the Doris A. Howell Foundation, its Health Lecture Series and scholarship donor opportunities, please contact Tanya Fortuna at 858-454-7797, or on the web at



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