Investing in Young Investigators

Ariana Garagozzo is not just a future scientist; she is also the sibling of a young man with Prader-Willi syndrome.  As an undergraduate student at Dickinson College, Ariana’s passion to find a cure for hyperphagia has clearly defined her path towards a medical career in PWS research!

FPWR values bringing upcoming investigators into the field of PWS research. With the generous support from our Internship Program supporters, Ariana will work in the lab of PWS researcher, James Hougland to assist his research investigating hyperphagia.

You may recall James Hougland was one of three researchers recently awarded with a BIG grant to further investigate hyperphagia in PWS. Ariana’s research this summer will focus on the design and evaluation of inhibitors targeting human ghrelin O-acyltransferase (hGOAT). This enzyme is essential for the biological activity of the appetite hormone ghrelin, which controls appetite among a number of other physiological roles. Ghrelin is elevated in patients with PWS, and is hypothesized to potentially play a role in PWS-associated hyperphagia.

“I cannot state strongly enough my conviction that providing Ariana this opportunity may play an instrumental role in advancing her future interest in research targeting PWS. Based on both my personal experience and those of other undergraduates I have worked with in my career, early immersion into undergraduate research is a key factor in recruiting talented students into the sciences. Ariana has already exhibited several of the best indicators for future success as a scientific researcher – curiosity, determination, and a personal investment in her own education and training. I would greatly appreciate the chance to expose Ariana to the research in my laboratory towards a potential treatment for hyperphagia in Prader-Willi syndrome so she can develop her laboratory skills and reinforce/expand her interest in a future career in science.” -- James Hougland

We appreciate the generous donors who have supported this program and we look forward to offering this opportunity on an annual basis.

2014 Young Investigators Internship Program Supporters: Carol Hanna and Ed Korn, Susan Hedstrom, Kevin Heller, Donna Plunkett, SJ Transportation Co, Anonymous Donors (3)

Funded Year:


Awarded to:

Ariana Garagozzo




Syracuse University

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