VCU Researchers Recognized at American Heart Association Meeting

The Pauley Heart Center was well-represented by researchers at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions in November. 

Dr. Anindita DasDr. Koka SaiTwo of the researchers—Dr. Anindita Das, assistant professor, and Dr. Sai Sudha Koka, postdoctoral fellow—received Best Poster awards for their research presentations describing mechanisms of cardioprotection in

Type II diabetes. Only six researchers from around the world were selected for this prestigious honor. Additionally, David Durrant, Ph.D., a biochemistry and molecular biology graduate student in the Pauley Heart Center, presented an abstract showing how the combined treatment of sildenafil (Viagra) and rapamycin (an immunosuppressant used to prevent post-transplant organ rejection) improved the anti-cancer effects of doxorubicin while protecting the heart. At the meeting, Dr. Durrant gave a live interview about his paper, which the AHA also selected for widespread press release.

A total of 15 researchers from Pauley’s Basic Science department presented abstracts at the sessions. “Each year, our representation at AHA is increasing. The response this year was overwhelming,” said Dr. Rakesh Kukreja, the scientific director of Pauley Heart Center. “I noticed that many prominent researchers in the area came to see presentations from Pauley researchers and showed tremendous interest in their studies.”

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