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Structural biologist Jamillah Zamoon, PhD, Kuwait’s first UNESCO-L’Oreal for Women in Science international fellow, has uncovered the healing properties of a secretion from a species of Kuwaiti catfish, according to the L'Oreal Web site. She is studying a substance secreted by a species of Kuwaiti catfish that has been shown to have extraordinary wound-healing properties in humans.
The secretion appears to be especially effective in treating the chronic sores caused by diabetes. Once fully-understood, the substance could be further formulated into wound-healing products. Her research involves understanding exactly how and why the substance works, and to do that she must determine how the proteins in the substance are structured and how they interact.
According to L'Oreal, Zamoon currently has a strong background in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), a technique that is well-suited for investigating small proteins. However, larger proteins are more difficult to decipher and Zamoon’s UNESCO-L’Oreal For Women in Science International Fellowship takes her to Rosalind Franklin University in Chicago, where she will perfect her knowledge of the necessary techniques, including X-ray crytallography and cryo-electron microscopy. Zamoon is an assistant professor at the University of Kuwait but will complete her research in the United States.