Describe your research & the program/lab that you are in?
After finishing my medical education at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel I started my PhD. I carried out my research partially in Brussels at the Department of Pharmacology – Center for Neuroscience of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and partially in Boston at Boston University School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and the Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute. Currently I am fulfilling my cardiology training.
The research described in my PhD thesis focused on the role of the AT2 receptor in the kidney in the regulation of blood pressure and renal hemodynamics as well as in the brain, in the central regulation of blood pressure. The work supports the role of the AT2 receptor as an important element in the protective arm of the renin-angiotensin system, exerting renal vasodilator effects in the hypertensive state possibly as part of a renally adaptive mechanism, and hypotensive responses after central stimulation of brain AT2 receptors.
What do you consider to be your substantial scientific contribution so far (provide Pubmed PMID if possible)?
Hypotensive and sympathoinhibitory responses to selective central AT2 receptor stimulation in spontaneously hypertensive rats. S Brouwers, I Smolders, RD Wainford and AG Dupont. Clinical Science. July 2015;129(1): 81-92.
What is your favourite manuscript from a lab or mentor other than your own (provide Pubmed PMID if possible)?
Paulis, L., Steckelings, U. M. & Unger, T. Key advances in antihypertensive treatment. Nat. Rev. Cardiol. 9, 276–85 (2012).
Describe your unforgettable (proudest) moment in science, and the most challenging situation that you have had to overcome (lessons learnt) so far?
The defence of my PhD, almost exactly one year ago was certainly a memorable moment. After many ups and downs in science throughout which perseverance keeps you going, it is wonderful to receive a PhD.
At which conference did you first present? How was your experience?
My first research results, obtained for my Master’s thesis focussing on the role of the AT2 receptor in renal haemodynamics, were accepted for oral presentation at the 22nd European Meeting on Hypertension and Cardiovascular Protection in London, UK in 2012. The presentation went well and I came back very motivated after receiving quite a lot of positive feedback. Also at this conference, I established my first research contacts that are still very valuable today.