Biology Professor Recognized for Research
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Biology Professor Dr. Prabir K. Mandal was recently recognized by the Florida Department of Health as an esteemed state researcher for his contributions to the Health Disparities Research Advisory Committee on health promotion and disease prevention.
Mandal, who has been with EWC since 2008, recently published a study in the Journal of Bioprocessing & Biotechniques titled, “Smoking Related Changes in Neurotransmitters in African Americans.” The study examined the effects of smoking, the most common method of tobacco consumption, on African Americans and yielded results which can be used to develop population-specific strategies for smoking cessation.
Mandal’s research team, which included Dr. Sudhish Mishra, Dr. Anita Mandal and a few students, collected and analyzed blood samples from a number of African Americans, both smokers and non-smokers. After running several tests, the results showed that smoking behaviors in African Americans, who are already statistically more susceptible to various cancers and cardiac abnormalities, increases their chances of disease manifestation.
The study also illustrated that smoking directly disrupts the body’s capability to produce normal amounts of serotonin, a natural chemical which keeps the body relaxed and happy, which often results in smokers being less capable of coping with stress once the calming effects from the cigarettes' nicotine dissipate. This, in turn, causes smokers to revert back to another cigarette to supplement the serotonin deficiency with nicotine.
Mandal stated, “Smoking strongly reduces the chances of surviving from 40 to 70 years of age, however, the beneficial effects of smoking cessation are stronger at earlier ages. Additionally, the detrimental effects are strongest for heavy smokers at early ages.”
The study was funded by the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program of Florida Department of Health Grant, and was reviewed and edited by experts from Stanford University, the University of Central Florida, and several universities in Canada, such as Laval University and the University of Waterloo.