Queensborough Student receives a 2021 MACUB Award at Metropolitan Association of College and University Biologists (MACUB) Virtual conference

Published: November 24, 2021

Queensborough Biology student Sabina Piechowska has received a MACUB Award for her undergraduate research on insulin resistance. “Insulin, used to manage blood sugar, is essential in Diabetes treatment and extensive research is ongoing worldwide to find novel drug targets for treating insulin resistance,” Piechowska stated. 

Piechowska’s review research on such a novel drug target for obesity and type-2 diabetes, was conducted from January 2021 to the end of October 2021 and was funded by CUNY Community College Research Grant (CCRG), awarded to Dr Sarbani Ghoshal in December 2020. Sabina’s presentation "Inositol Hexakisphosphate Kinase1 (IP6K1) is a Potential Target in Treating Insulin Resistance", was recognized at the 54th Annual MACUB Virtual Regional Conference, held on October 30. Nearly 100 students from colleges and universities throughout the metropolitan region participated in the event. 

"This scientific conference showcased outstanding student talent, and this certainly applies to Sabina,” said Sarbani Ghoshal, Ph.D., Biological Sciences & Geology. “She worked diligently for the last 10 months and was paid a well-deserved stipend through the CUNY CCRG.” Another outstanding Queensborough Biology student, Mayra Wanderley also received a stipend from the same grant for related research which focused on public health and obesity. 

Sabina Piechowska, mentored by Dr. Ghoshal, prepared a thoughtful scientific presentation, “I hope more Queensborough students will have such a challenging but rewarding experience,” said Piechowska, who enrolled at Queensborough in January 2019. 

English, she explained, was not my first language.  “To have overcome a language barrier and then be recognized this way is amazing. When I took the Queensborough Admission Test, I did not pass the writing section, so I took a semester-long writing workshop on campus where I went each week for help and support. I improved my writing to the point that I'm even better at writing than talking! Students who struggle with similar difficulties should know it is possible to overcome them.” Sabina also thanked her mentor, Dr Ghoshal for inspiring her throughout to move out of her comfort zone, think critically in science and reach higher heights.

Dr. Ghoshal, who teaches Biotechnology, Biology and Public Health, emphasized that her students benefit most from in-person research, which completes their training.  

“I look forward to having more of my students on campus this Spring as Covid restrictions continue to lift. Their schedules are very demanding as is—working and caring for their families. I do my best to always be available to them whether in person, on phone or by email.” 

Piechowska commutes regularly from her home in Middle Village, Queens to Park Slope, Brooklyn where she has worked for over 10 years as an esthetician.  At 50, she has travelled a long way to pursue an education at Queensborough. “I was born and raised in Poland where I studied Organic Chemistry at a Technical School in Nowa Sarzyna, in the southern part of the country.”  The school does not exist anymore since communism collapsed in Poland and the educational system changed, according to Piechowska.  She moved to America 17 years ago with her husband and son. “We could finally enjoy stability, aspire to our own chosen careers, and provide an education for our son. When the right time came, I applied to college.” 

“Now, I'm following my son's path. He is a Physician’s Assistant in the Emergency Room at Weil-Cornell Presbyterian. I am extremely proud of him, and he is proud of me for pursuing my dreams at this point of my life.” Piechowska will graduate this semester and move on to York College to study Health Sciences. 




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