Three Minute Thesis finalist looking at oils and fats

Hasam Madarati has an encouraging message to help ease pangs of guilt for those diet-conscious individuals who hanker for a burger and fries.

Madarati is a MSc student in Biotechnology and he competed as one of five finalists in Brock’s 2015 Three Minute Thesis® (3MT®) Contest held in April. As Madarati finished his 3MT® research presentation — with a few seconds to spare — he says: “Now, I know I probably shouldn’t be saying this but between you and I — you know that last burger or french fry you avoided the last time you were on a diet? Well, my research may take you a step closer to allowing you to have that without any worry.”

Hasam Madarati

Hasam Madarati

Madarati’s presentation offers a quick science lesson to explain how our body processes all the oils and fats it produces. His research examines the transfer of cholesterol within compartments of wet cells — cells filled with water. He focuses specifically on the behaviour of a particular protein — the oxysterol binding protein or OSBP for short — and its important role within a wet cell to move greasy fats at a sub-cellular level to help the body remain healthy.

The OSBP, says Madarati, attaches itself to compartments of cells. Then, comparing the process to the workman-like drumming of an Energizer Bunny, Madarati explains that the OSBP transfers cholesterol from one compartment to the other, where it picks up a lipid and returns to the first compartment to then repeat the process back and forth. Madarati’s study has also tested other research findings on the impact of making a chemical modification to the protein.

“In the end, the goal of my research is to take us a step closer to better understanding how cholesterol is transferred within our body. And hopefully this translates into lowering cholesterol-related illnesses such as heart disease,” he says.



Hasam Madarati

MSc student in Biotechnology

Brock 2015 3MT® Finalist

Supervisor: Dr. Jeffrey Atkinson

Title: “Role of Oxysterol Binding Protein (OSBP) Phosphorylation on Lipid Extraction”

Hometown: Mississauga

Find out more about Madarati’s research by watching the video below of his 3MT® presentation from the 2015 Mapping the New Knowledges Graduate Student Research Conference.
Starting in December, Brock graduate students can register on the 3MT® website to participate in the 2016 3MT® contest.

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