2017 Saha Awardees Announced

The Saha Cardiovascular Research Center recently announced the winners of the 2017 Saha Awards. These annual awards are given to Medical and Nursing students as well as to a nurse educator. The awards are designed to reward creativity, dedication and knowledge in areas of cardiovascular research, disease prevention and patient education. The 2017 recipients are:

MD/PhD Student Award – Zheying “Jeff” Chen

Jeff is currently a second year graduate student in the MD/PhD program at the University of Kentucky. His current research focuses on the role of renin angiotensin system signaling in pathogenesis of aortic aneurysmal disease. After completion of the MD/PhD program, Jeff plans to complete residency and establish his own independent research group in cardiovascular medicine.

MD/PhD Student Award – David Henson

David is a MD/PhD student studying the interaction between the immune system and cardiovascular health specifically looking at the role of antibodies to self proteins, as well as previous work investigating the role of tuberculosis infection on cardiovascular risk. David plans to pursue a career as an physician-scientist at a major research hospital with translational research lab. His long term goal is to develop tools to modulate the immune response to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease in patients.

Nursing Student Award – Joy Coles

Joy is a current staff registered nurse for UK Healthcare with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UK and holds several part-time clinical faculty member positions at the UK College of Nursing as Clinical Instructor, guest Lecturer, and Teaching Assistant. She will graduate in December 2018 from the Doctor of Nursing program in the Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner track with interests in cardiovascular disease management and prevention. Her current focus involves establishing depression screening in the Cardiovascular ICU in patients who have undergone a Coronary Artery Bypass Graft. In the future, Joy plans to seek a joint faculty appointment in a research-intensive university where she can become an educator for the next generation of nurse scholars and be a Board-certified Acute Care Nurse Practitioner for patients in the Critical Care Intensive Unit.

Medical Student Award – Tara Shrout

Tara is from Frankfort, Kentucky and currently a medical student at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. Alongside her PSMRF mentor Susan Smyth, MD/PhD, Tara's translational research focus led to the discovery of early risk-stratification methods with platelet function analysis and thromboinflammatory biomarkers as predictors of adverse cardiovascular events such as stroke and bleeding in patients with mechanical assist devices. Tara has also pursued pharmacologically modulating specific aberrancies in the coagulation pathway that lead to these adverse events. Furthermore, she is interested in better understanding quality of life and ethical decisions made in this patient population. In the future, Tara plans to pursue a career in Cardiology as a physician-scientist and leader in academic medicine. Her goal is to prevent and combat cardiovascular disease through a systemic and holistic approach to patient care.

The 2017 Saha Awards will be presented to these deserving awardees on November 3 at the 20th Annual Gill Heart Institute Cardiovascular Research Day. To learn more about the event or to register to attend, follow the link to the Cardiovascular Research Day website. http://cvrc.med.uky.edu/cardiovascular-research-day.