The University of Adelaide
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- Sitting on boards or committees
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I am Rafiatu Azumah, a mother of two young kids (under 5) and currently studying a PhD in Medicine. Having a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Biochemistry and a Masters in Medical Microbiology both from Africa and currently studying my PhD in Adelaide has exposed me to different cultures and values in all aspect of life especially in research. I have almost no exposure to the industry as I have been more focused on research and achieving a PhD. I am very happy and keen to be part of STEM WOMEN.
My PhD project focuses on the genetic and fetal origins of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS); a complex syndrome which presents endocrine, metabolic and reproductive symptoms, affecting about 10% of women of reproductive age. However, the pathogenesis of PCOS is poorly understood hence diagnosis is usually delayed due to the numerous associated symptoms and treatment is mainly based on management of presenting symptoms. Studies involving animals and women with the syndrome as well as their offspring have, however, shown similar patterns that infer the possible fetal origin of PCOS. Thus, children born to women with PCOS have an increased risk of the syndrome compared to those not exposed. Interestingly, candidate genes associated with PCOS have been identified in human and bovine fetal ovaries, further confirming the genetic and fetal origins of the syndrome. My project seeks to define the upstream regulators and mechanisms associated with PCOS candidate genes using the bovine fetal ovaries; possibly towards the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the disorder.