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Investing in the Future
CHORI Post-doc Receives AHA Award

As part of CHORI’s longstanding commitment to fostering the next generation of researchers, CHORI is pleased to announce that one of its post-doctoral fellows has received an American Heart Association (AHA) post-doctoral fellowship award. Shiori Tamamizu-Kato, PhD, will receive 2 years of AHA funding to explore the role of acrolein, a highly reactive component of tobacco smoke and naturally occurring by-product of age-related oxidative stress, in the modification of apolipoprotein E (apoE) function.

ApoE is known for its anti-atherogenic properties, removing “bad” cholesterol from the blood and preventing cardiovascular disease. Dr. Tamamizu-Kato will pursue this research in the laboratory of her sponsor, Vasanthy Narayanaswami, PhD, a member of CHORI’s Center for the Prevention of Obesity, Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes, who has been a key player in fostering Dr. Tamamizu-Kato’s research.

“We provide post-docs with scientific training and mentorship, helping them with their career development and leadership skills, or developing grant proposals,” explains Dr. Narayanaswami. “With this background, they can then go out and seek independent positions anywhere.”

Extending support to young scientists is a significant part of Dr. Narayanaswami’s research ethic, as she also spearheads CHORI’s Summer Research Program, which targets high school and college students for research opportunities within the organization.

“Mentoring and training is a huge part of CHORI’s research program,” says Dr. Narayanaswami. “We can keep doing our research, which is what we do best, but we have to make sure we train future researchers as well. It's one of the most important investments we can make in the future of scientific research.”

Dr. Tamamizu-Kato is well on her way to forging that future. The AHA training grant is highly competitive. On average, only 28 percent of post-doctoral applicants receive funding – a clear benchmark for the rigor of Dr. Tamamizu-Kato’s research. Through her series of studies investigating acrolein disruption of apoE functionality, Dr. Tamamizu-Kato hopes to provide a greater understanding of both the role of oxidative stress in increased levels of bad cholesterol and the role of smoking as a risk factor in developing cardiovascular disease, which will be essential in devising intervention strategies for the future.

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Monday, May 16, 2011 11:33 PM

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