Three Professors and 17 Students Conduct Research and Present at International Taurine Conference

Taurine Conference photo

Three SUNY Old Westbury professors recently gave presentations on taurine neuroprotection of environmental lead exposure at the 21st International Taurine Annual Meeting in China. The collaborative research by faculty supported 17 undergraduate research students across a 3-year period.

“These unique opportunities to conduct meaningful scientific studies with students on our campus and to translate both faculty and student collaborative team efforts at the international level are some of the greatest accomplishments any faculty could experience.  Such venues as the INTAM provide additional collaborations for our college and begin a new networking level for our students’ future careers,” said Dr. Lorenz Neuwirth, Psychology Department.

Neuwirth, also a member of the SUNY Neuroscience Research Institute, led both presentations. The first, "Early Neurodevelopmental Exposure to Low Lead Levels Induces Frontoexecutive dysfunctions that are Recovered by the Co-Treatment of Taurine in the Rat Attention Set-Shift Test: Implications for Taurine as a Psychopharmacotherapy Against Neurotoxicants” was co-authored by Dr. Youngjoo Kim of the Chemistry and Physics Department; and the second, “Assessing the Anxiolytic Properties of Taurine-Derived Compounds in Rats Following Developmental Lead Exposure: A Neurodevelopmental and Behavioral Pharmacology Study” was co-authored by Chemistry and Physics Professor Dr. Bright Emenike.

Every two years the International Taurine Annual Meeting (INTAM) takes place with faculty and student researchers, international experts and medical physicians, as well as, pharmaceutical companies to better understand the role of taurine in increasing health outcomes.  This year marked the 21st INTAM which was held during May 20-26, 2018 in Shenyang and Dalian China with a conference theme of “Taurine: A Healthful Molecule.”  Neuwirth was one of 21 founding members from 14 different countries that established the International Taurine Society (ITS) in 2017 that presented their original research at this conference.

Dr. Neuwirth’s presentations for SUNY Old Westbury team’s two research papers will be published in the upcoming volume Taurine 11 of the “Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology Journal.” Neuwirth’s collaborative projects with Drs. Kim and Emenike are directed towards a goal of developing and testing new psychopharmacological therapeutic drugs that may mitigate environmental neurotoxicant induced developmental disabilities in children.