Campus: Los Angeles -- September 28, 2007

Cal State L.A. professor to teach biochemistry in Afghanistan
Momand will also deliver hope, donated lab equipment to Kabul University

Cal State L.A. biochemistry professor Jamil Momand is heading to Afghanistan Wednesday, Sept. 26, to bring a catalyst of hope for the future to students whose college education has been interrupted through years of unrest.

Volunteering his time, Momand will be at Kabul University until Dec. 4. At KU, he will teach biochemistry and help establish a research laboratory.

Momand explains, “I recently had a yearning to help another country and offer a glimpse of hope to the younger generation by providing them further education.” And, Afghanistan was the obvious choice for Momand, because his father and wife are both Afghans.

Last spring, Momand visited Afghanistan to meet with KU’s chancellor to assess the campus’s needs and to make the Cal State L.A. connection. Even though KU has been making progress in re-establishing its academic programs, most of its resources and equipment were destroyed during the Taliban rule and other upheavals.

“I want to show the students the positive side of life,” says Momand, adding that the students there are eager to learn in the midst of all the poverty and turbulence.

Along with his academic expertise and limited Farsi, Momand will deliver a garage-full of lab equipment and other supplies—from test tubes to pipets—to Afghanistan. The items were donated by private donors, Cal State L.A., the Afghan Medical Association and Pasadena City College.

Momand says, “My goal is to teach students different aspects of chemistry and to set up a lab where they can learn how to conduct scientific research. I also plan to train the KU faculty so they can be knowledgeable in operating the equipment.”

A Cal State L.A. faculty member since 1999, Momand has received grants from the National Cancer Institute and National Science Foundation for his research to determine how the p53 tumor suppressor protein is regulated by oxidation and reduction. He has also conducted research on stress-response therapy, cancer genetics, and structural bioinformatics. He has published numerous journal articles and given many presentations on his areas of expertise.

Momand directs the CSULA Southern California Bioinformatics Summer Institute, one of 13 federally-funded programs throughout the United States. Momand, who received his Ph.D. from UCLA, was previously an assistant research scientist at the City of Hope Medical Center.

Contacts: Sean Kearns, Media Relations Director, skearns@calstatela.edu
Margie Yu, Public Affairs Specialist, margiey@cslanet.calstatela.edu


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