July 2012 Spotlight - Praveen Veerabhadrappa
Praveen VeerabhadrappaCollege of Health Professions,
How did you become interested in research relating to Hypertension?
A Cardiologist in my medical school gave an excellent talk on atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. I was inspired to learn more about the pathophysiology and management of hypertension which is a highly prevalent CVD risk factor.
Describe your research & the program/lab (info of your supervisor) that you are in?
My current research focuses on the assessment of CVD risk for hypertension in the minority population, who are known to have the highest risk for CVD. I am truly fascinated by the usefulness of 24hr Ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM) in the assessment of a more accurate BP of an individual in the real world. We also assess the vascular function through Brachial Artery Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and Carotid Artery Intima-media thickness (IMT). Our lab is looking at the effects of long-term lifestyle modifications (diet & supervised exercise training) in the management of hypertension in African Americans in the North Philadelphia region. Specifically, I am looking at the effects of exercise on sub-clinical inflammation and endothelial function. I am fortunate to learn from my current mentor – Dr Michael Brown.
What do you consider to be your substantial scientific contribution so far (provide Pubmed PMID if possible)?
We were surprised to learn the prevalence of masked hypertension (normal office BP and high ABPM readings) in African Americans. Masked hypertension has the same level of risk for CV events as, sustained hypertension (high Office and ABPM BP values), and moreover, masked hypertension is known to be a precursor of sustained hypertension. We identified a sub-group of high risk prehypertensives (with masked hypertension) who had impaired FMD when compared to true prehypertensives. Our findings were presented at the main AHA meeting and our manuscript was accepted by the American Journal of Hypertension. PMID: 21677701
What is your favourite manuscript from a lab other than your own (provide Pubmed PMID if possible)?
When and how to use self (home) and ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. Pickering TG et al. J Am Soc Hypertens. 2008 May-Jun; 2(3):119-24.
Pickering TG. J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2007 Oct; 9(10):807-10. Review. PMID: 17917511
What facilities are essential for your research?
ABPM monitors, high resolution ultrasound machines (for assessing vascular functions) and assay kits for the inflammatory markers. We are also utilizing the gymnasium for our supervised structured exercise training program for our cohort.
Where do your research strengths lie? Why? What are your research weaknesses? How will you improve?
I have learned to focus on my ideas and have become better at implementing them into actions. I have discovered to be very passionate about my research and to be productive as well.
I would like to further improve my written communication and presentation skills. I would like to develop the art of organizing my thoughts in my mind, and actually putting them on paper.
Describe your unforgettable (proudest) moment in science, and the most challenging situation that you have had to overcome (lessons learnt) so far?
I was thrilled when my abstract was accepted to be presented at the main AHA meeting in 2010 for the first time. My mentor/lab were really excited for the effort that we put in.
At which conference did you first present? How was your experience?
My first presentation was an oral presentation at the American College of Sports Medicine in 2010. I presented the 2D echocardiography findings of diastolic dysfunction and its relationship to aerobic capacity in the minority population. I was faced with some challenging questions from the experts in the field among the audience. I responded with humility and confidence which was well appreciated.
What upcoming conferences will you be attending, and what is the furthest distance that you have traveled for a conference?
I will be presenting at the High Blood Pressure Research Council of AHA in Washington DC in September 2012. Then I will be travelling (25hrs) to Sydney, Australia for the ISH meeting. The longest distance that I have travelled for a conference was to Shanghai, China to give an invited talk.
How did you learn about ISH/NIN and its activities?
I learned about ISH when I interacted with Dr Rhian Touyz (Kidney Research Centre – Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Canada) at the Summer Hypertension School of AHA in Portland, Oregon in 2010. I also had the wonderful opportunity to meet the current president of ISH, Dr Stephen Harrap in Vancouver at ISH 2010. I expressed my interest in participating in some of the new initiatives that we discussed.
What area(s) do you wish to specialize in the future?
I wish to specialize in the cardiovascular medicine. I am highly interested in learning some of the amazing techniques in interventional Cardiology.
Who is your role model in Science? Why?
My role models are Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs, the late CEO of Apple computers for his dedicated contributions to Science and technology. I am inspired by some of the wonderful literature on them.
What are your scientific goals? Advise for talented emerging scientists?
First, I want to stay humble. I also want to be hungry for science. I consider research to be an ‘art’ as much as it is science. So, I want to develop the craftsmanship of performing and presenting world class research and dedicate my life to the advancement of Medicine. My mission in life is to- imagine, innovate and to influence. My only advice would be to, be humble and stay hung