Marshall SOM Biomedical Sciences’ professors awarded American Heart Association research grants for students

Congratulations to Nalini Santanam, Ph.D. and her team (Elsa Mangiarua, Ph.D. and Monica Valentovic, Ph.D.) on receiving the Great Rivers Affiliate Undergraduate Student
Research Program Award from the American Heart Association for Marshall University. The grant encourages promising Marshall University students from all disciplines, including women and members of minority groups underrepresented in the sciences, to consider research careers while supporting the highest quality scientific investigation broadly related to cardiovascular disease and stroke.

American Heart Association logo 1.8.15

Because of this grant, Marshall University undergraduate students have an opportunity to conduct graduate-level research this summer for nine-weeks with outstanding school of medicine faculty and in amazing research facilities. Interns will receive a $4,000 stipend. Applications are due by February 20th. Click the logo above to see the application.

The peer-reviewed process focuses on evaluation of program organization, training opportunities, science and academic qualifications
of faculty, resources and funding available to students and history of student research training.

Students will learn and utilize a variety of genetic, epigenetic, molecular, morphological and physiological experimental techniques and apply them to models at the animal, tissue, cell and molecular levels. The students will also have an opportunity to work on translational research projects with leading scientists and clinical faculty. The results of each student’s research would contribute directly to a greater understanding of cardiovascular diseases, obesity and diabetes, their interrelationships and the development of improved treatments.

The Research Program is scheduled for summer 2015, and the application deadline is February 20th.

Interns will receive a $4,000 stipend for the nine-week research experience.

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Marshall biomedical professor invited to present her research internationally

Nalini Santanam, Ph.D., M.P.H., professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology in the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University, has been invited to present her research, yet again.

2nd World Congress on Fertility and Antioxidants Therapy 2012Dr. Santanam will be presenting her research internationally at the International Society of Antioxidants in Nutrition and Health’s (ISANH) 2nd World Congress on Fertility and Antioxidants Therapy, December 6 – 7, 2012 in Paris, France.

Santanam’s talk is relevant to all with a condition called Endometriosis. Endometriosis is a clinical condition that afflicts 10-15% of women of reproductive age (mainly diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 35), posing a major cause for infertility and chronic pain. Since the etiology of this disease is still unknown, very few treatment options are available. Surgery is currently the best treatment; however, due to a high recurrence rate, the disease commonly returns within three to six months post-surgery. The conference provides attendees the opportunity to present and discuss new research relating to the condition. Dr. Santanam’s talk scheduled for Friday, December 7th, is titled “Prostaglandin-Like Lipid Oxidation Products in the peritoneal Fluid of Women with Endometriosis Respond to Antioxidant Therapy.” In addition to her presentation, she also will be co-sharing the meeting on December 7th, 2012. Dr. Santanam would like to acknowledge the continued collaboration with Dr. Brenda Dawley from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 

It is quite an honor to be selected at such a high level in her field, and though Dr. Santanam is not foreign to these invites, she remains humble. This is the second time she has been recognized and invited to present her research in just two months. Dr. Santanam recently presented her research at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions in Los Angeles, California in November. Her talk was titled  “Sex differences in epicardial fat biomarkers,” which highlighted the research she has conducted over the past three years in collaboration with Marshall’s Department of Cardiology and Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery. She studied the adipose tissue surrounding the heart and blood vessels in patients with coronary artery disease. 

This epicardial and perivascular fat has unique biomarkers that show differences between Nalini Santanam, Ph.D., M.P.H. the sexes; she states that with this study, they are “trying to identify biomarkers unique to this particular fat so that we can use it in the future to diagnose or in the treatment of coronary artery disease.”  Additionally, the biomarkers found in the adipose tissue have been correlated to patients with hypertension. This study is part of the West Virginia Appalachian Heart Study; therefore most of the individuals included in this study are Appalachians. Dr. Santanam would like to acknowledge: Dr. Christopher Adams, Dr. Nepal Chowdhury, Dr. Todd Gress, and Dr. Paulette Wehner.

Dr. Santanam is the chair of the Cardiovascular Disease, Obesity, and Diabetes research cluster within Marshall’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program, and is a member of its Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology. 

Congratulations on your continued achievements, Dr. Santanam!