SGU Student Receives Prestigious Grant for Prostate Cancer Marker Research

Aleef Rahman’s commitment to prostate cancer research has been unwavering since it began, and now with a prestigious grant through the New York Academy of Medicine, the St. George’s University medical student can take his project—and his passion—even farther.

This spring, the Academy selected Mr. Rahman as the 2017 recipient of the Ferdinand C. Valentine Medical Student Research Grant in Urology. Mr. Rahman will conduct his research project, titled “Characterization and Validation of Novel Prostate Cancer Markers,” under the guidance of his mentor, Dr. Srinivas Pentyala, Director of Translational Research at Stony Brook University Medical Center in New York.

“When I received confirmation of this prestigious award, I was floored,” Mr. Rahman said. “I had previously received a research grant before, but this one being specifically from the New York Academy of Medicine was a great honor. It’s very humbling to know that only one or two people nationally get this award every year, and all the hard work that I put in has paid off.”

In addition to spending the next 10 to 12 weeks conducting research at SBU, Mr. Rahman is expected to present his research findings at the Academy’s annual Medical Student Forum in September, to an audience of Academy Fellows, faculty mentors, research colleagues, and fellow student grant awardees.

Research has always been a passion of Mr. Rahman’s, particularly throughout his years in undergraduate school at Stony Brook University and later in graduate school. Prior to enrolling at SGU, Mr. Rahman was the Director for Research in the Department of Surgery for Mount Sinai Services at Elmhurst Hospital Center. He then decided to combine his research skills with a medical degree to advance his professional career.

Working with Dr. Pentyala for almost a decade, Mr. Rahman’s research project will expand on his mentor’s previous discovery of three different diagnosis markers for prostate cancer. Mr. Rahman’s intention is to characterize what these markers look like, their genetic code, and how physicians in the future can utilize his findings as a novel marker for prostate cancer.

“Once this summer project is complete, my goal is to continue working with Dr. Pentyala, with the hope that one day doctors can use our results for earlier detection and diagnosis of prostate cancer,” added Mr. Rahman. “It’s exciting to think that the work we’re doing now can have a significant impact in saving the lives of patients in the future.”