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Undergraduate Research Center

Fatimah Alnassari

  • SOAR Position: Member
  • Major: Biology
  • Faculty Mentor(s): Dr. Iris Gao and Dr. Nathan Phillips

Current Focus: Jujube Tree Propagation and Ginsenoside Extraction Methods

Additional Interests: Art

Project Description

I am currently taking on two research projects. One of the ongoing research that I am doing involves Dr. Nathan Phillips, the faculty mentor and a professor of Horticulture, Khadijah Ali Alnassari, Zaynab Alnassari, Ahmed Alnassari, and I, Fatimah Alnassari. The purpose of this research is to get a Jujube tree that bears good fruit but has bad rooting to grow on its own root stock. There are three types of roots: fruit bearing, primary, and secondary roots, that had been taken from a Jujube tree that has bad rooting, which was then used in the research. Many factors, such as the growth hormone and perlite, had been added to encourage rooting of the three types of roots. The second research I have pursued, involves myself, Zaynab Alnassari, Ahmed Alnassari, and our faculty mentor, Dr. Iris Gao. American ginseng is a herb that is highly valued in world markets with sales that are astonishingly high. The reason why ginseng is so valuable is because it contains ginsenosides that have been used to treat inflammation, tumors and even reboot immune systems of Covid-19 patients, but this medial marvel has one issue. Its extremely difficult to extract the ginsenosides (saponins) that hold these medical benefits. Traditional and current methods may take up to 18 hours to process and require many tedious steps through the extraction. Because ginseng holds so many valuable medical properties, our research is dedicated to optimizing a rapid and effective method for ginsenoside extraction.

What are your professional aspirations?

I hope to become a pulmonologist and travel around the world helping people who are unable to access the medical treatment they need, and give them opportunities that weren’t originally accessible to them, creatimg a better future for not only themselves but also for the people around them as well.

Do you have any advice for future researchers?

My advice for future researchers is to never give up and to keep moving forward, even when things get tough, despite other people’s opinions or beliefs. When I had decided to go into college, many have told me that it was very difficult, and had discouraged and made me even second guess my choices. Fortunately, my family was right there to lift my self esteem back up and they continue to inspire me to keep going and pursue my dream career in becoming a doctor. So, whether you wish to get into a good college or not, never let people discourage you from a something you genuinely enjoy or wish to pursue.

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Thursday, September 5th, 4:30pm

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Jamie Burriss, Ph.D., Director
(615) 494-7669 
Jamie.Burriss@mtsu.edu

Casey Penston, Coordinator
(615) 809-4588 
Casey.Penston@mtsu.edu

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