Annual Gill Cardiovascular Research Day Features Latest Research in Cardiovascular Health

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On Oct. 17, the Lexington Convention Center teemed with more than 200 students and scientists sharing their latest research on cardiovascular health for the 17th annual Gill Heart Institute Cardiovascular Research Day.

Nigel Mackman, Ph.D., director of the McAllister Heart Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, presented "Hematosis, Thrombosis and Immunity," demonstrating the diverse roles of hemostasis and thrombosis in cardiovascular diseases, cancers and infections. Kathryn J. Moore, Ph.D., professor of medicine and cell biology at New York University's Langone Medical Center, presented "Mechanisms of Chronic Inflammation in Cardiometabolic Disease," describing the unexpected roles of molecules, traditionally called nerve growth factors, that promote inflammatory responses.

The day's highlight was the keynote speaker, Dr. Evonne Kaplan-Liss. A member of the Steering Committee for the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, Dr. Kaplan-Liss combines her physician training with her background as a researcher and associate producer for Ted Koppel’s Nightline/ABC News to teach health care providers and scientists to speak more clearly and effectively with their patients, the public and the media.

"We choose keynote speakers for Cardiovascular Research Day who provide information beyond the scope of the cardiovascular sciences," said Dr. Alan Daugherty, director of the Saha Cardiovascular Research Center at UK. "In this case, we invited Dr. Kaplan-Liss to educate us to present a complex research topic in a comprehensible manner, which she did in a highly entertaining way."

The 2014 Saha Awards for Cardiovascular Research and Education were announced during the conference. They are:

University of Kentucky Medical Student Award: Shilpa Sachdeva
University of Kentucky MD-PhD Student Award: Gregory J. Wehner
Nursing Student from Eastern Kentucky Award: Megan Bealert
Nursing Student with UK HealthCare Award: Samantha A. Mancuso

Judged poster sessions concluded with an awards ceremony recognizing the best presentations in four categories: Staff, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Graduate Student, and Undergraduate Student. The winners are:

Tyler Garner (Bradley Fleenor Lab) - Diet Induced Obesity Increases Aortic Stiffness by Altering Smooth Muscle and Endothelial Cell Function and Not Extracellular Matrix Remodeling

Cassi Friday (Brandon Fornwalt Lab)- Children with Obesity Have Cardiac Remodeling and Dysfunction: A Cine DENSE Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

Yasir Alsiraj (Lisa Cassis Lab) - The Sex Chromosome Complement XX Increases AngII-induced AAA Size and Incidence in Hyperlipidemic Male Mice

Greg Wehner (Brandon Fornwalt Lab) - Validation of in vivo Myocardial Displacements from Spiral Cine DENSE MRI at 3T

Prabha Nagareddy (Ahmed Abdel-Latif Lab)- Myocardial Ischemia (MI)-Induced Myelopoiesis Involves Activation of the Nlrp3 Inflammasome by S100a8/a9

Janet Manning (Jonathan Satin Lab) - The Loss of Rad GTPase Improves Systolic Function and Attenuates Structural Remodeling After Myocardial Ischemia

Ailing Ji (Deneys van der Westuyzen lab) - Hepatic insulin receptor deficiency induces the redistribution of hepatic SR-BI to an intracellular compartment

"This day highlights the wide range of excellent cardiovascular research on the UK campus," Dr. Daugherty said. "In addition, it provides UK researchers the opportunity to interact with prominent researchers from other institutes.”

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