PhD candidate wins award for epilepsy research

Nada Abuknesha has also published her first research paper on drug-resistant epilepsy.

Date: 20 October 2021

Nada Abuknesha, a final year PhD candidate within the Lipidomics and Nutrition Research Centre and supervised by Prof Kebreab Ghebremeskel, was recently awarded the New Investigator Award at a virtual congress organised by the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) for her research.

Nada presented two two research posters entitled, Supplementation Enhances Blood Omega-3 Fatty Acid Levels in Patients with Drug-Resistant Epilepsy, and Sudanese and Nigerian Drug-Resistant Epileptic Patients Have Abnormal Levels of Plasma Phosphatidylcholine Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

Nada has also recently published her first research paper in the Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes & Essential Fatty Acids (PLEFA) journal. The paper focuses on how ‘drug-resistant epilepsy is associated with fatty acid perturbation, characterised by elevated levels of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids and concomitantly lower omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids’.  

Nada said: 'I was delighted (and shocked) to win the New Investigator Award from ISSFAL. I remember reading about this award back in 2015 when I first started my PhD and thinking, ‘Oh, it would be amazing to win that one day’. 

“To have it happen six years later is really quite something, and I am very pleased to share my first full research paper as a first author. It has been a challenging road, especially as a self-funded PhD student, and I am very proud of myself. Got to write the next one now!'

Nada was also shortlisted as a finalist for the Young Lipid Scientist Award by the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) Lipids Group, where she also presented her research. Nada is also a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Epilepsy