An Interview with Dr. Saydur Rahman


Dr. Saydur Rahman is a research scientist working with Dr. Peter Thomas at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, Texas. Dr. Rahman was born in Bangladesh, where he obtained his undergraduate degree and worked as a scientific officer. He also obtained a master’s degree in integrated fish aquaculture while in Bangladesh, before moving to Japan in 1996, where he attended the University of the Ryukyus for a master’s degree in fish reproduction and endocrinology. As a master’s student, he focused on integrated aquaculture, which takes the waste products of one species and uses it as food for another. Dr. Rahman’s work in aquaculture focused mainly on shrimp and prawns. Dr. Rahman’s other research interests included how fish recognize moonlight, and how this affects their reproduction.

After finishing his master’s program, Dr. Rahman came to the University of Texas Marine Science Institute to work as a post-doc, before continuing on to a research associate and then a research scientist. Currently, Dr. Rahman’s research focuses on environmental toxicology and how various environmental stress factors affect physiological responses in aquatic organisms. Dr. Rahman’s presentation discussed how pollution, climate change, and hypoxia affect various molecular, cellular, and genetic responses in fish. He utilized several molecular indicators to track responses to hypoxia. His research found that hypoxia and chemical stress can increase DNA methylation and alter gene and protein expression in fish.

Dr. Rahman is particularly passionate about how environmental factors affect the physiology of the world’s organisms. Dr. Rahman is interested in this field because he feels it is our responsibility as humans to protect the world we live in. He is also passionate about this research because our genes determine not only our health, but also the health of our children, so having a better understanding of how these factors interact can help protect future generations.

Dr. Rahman informed us about the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), which is a program that gives scholarships for US students to travel to Japan and conduct research for 3 or 6 month time periods. He was particularly passionate on this point, because Japan has given him so many opportunities in the past, and he believes that it is an excellent opportunity for interested students to pursue. When asked what advice he has for future students, Dr. Rahaman said “Read, write, and work hard. Don’t worry about tomorrow.” He promotes the philosophy of extending a helping hand to the less fortunate by whatever means one can spare. Dr. Rahman wants to encourage others to lead by example. Although one person may not be able to start a global change, they can set the example for others to follow, thus leaving a far-reaching impact on the world.

Student Writers: Chris Payne, John Donaho, Alex Bianco

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