UAF BLaST Scientist of the Month

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    Farimang Touray, Jr., Graduate of University of Alaska Fairbanks

Farimang, a UAF BLaST Undergraduate Research Experience student since Fall 2016, graduated this Spring 2017 with a B.S. in biological sciences focusing on physiology and an Honors Thesis Scholar recognition. He grew up in Anchorage, Alaska where he began his undergraduate studies at UAA. After transferring to UAF his sophomore year, he became very interested in physical therapy, physiology, and human kinetics. UAF has allowed Farimang the opportunity to conduct undergraduate research that has helped pave the way for his future career in physical therapy. Farimang is the middle child in his family and enjoys playing sports, podcasting, and adventuring around Alaska.


Farimang worked in the Taylor/ Bult‐Ito lab at UAF. In the lab, Farimang studied the effects of Alaskan bog blueberry and Alaskan low bush cranberry on lifespan, health span, and muscle health in the model organism nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. His project used nematode culturing techniques and fluorescent microscopy to study the effects of these botanicals on the maintenance of muscle health as C. elegans age. The project, which is ongoing, hopes to show that consuming Alaskan botanicals is beneficial to long-term health in C. elegans, and will hopefully help provide greater understanding of human health and aging.


Farimang had the unique opportunity to collaborate with the members of the Taylor/ Bult-Ito lab, which included his primary mentors Malabika Maulik and Courtney Scerbak, graduate students Joshua Hincks and Skyler Hunter, postdoctoral researcher Elena Vayndorf, and fellow undergraduates Zoe Rodes and Elva House, all of whom have been instrumental in helping Farimang become more than just an undergraduate researcher. Farimang says that having mentors who are easy to talk to and who work together to find answers have helped make his experience great, and he hopes to be in a situation in the future where he can provide similar guidance and joy to others.

Congratulations, Farimang, on your degree and we wish you luck!

BlaST is supported by the NIH with the linked awards: TL4GM118992, RL5GM118990, and UL1GM118991.

The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.
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