Tell us about yourself.
After graduating medical school, I completed residency training in internal medicine. I did postdoctoral fellowship training in vascular biology and hypertension from The University of Alabama at Birmingham under mentorship of Drs. David Calhoun and Suzanne Oparil. Currently I am Instructor of Medicine in Division of Nephrology at The University of Alabama at Birmingham.
What are your research interests?
My main interests are evaluating mechanisms and to identify therapeutic targets to manage hypertension. My interest lies in sympathetic activity, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and corticotropin-glucocorticoid axis affecting blood pressure. In addition, I am interested in secondary cause of hypertension especially primary aldosteronism. Further, I am interested in mechanisms interlinking hypertension and cardio-renal diseases including chronic kidney disease and heart failure.
What are you working on right now?
Currently, I am working on mechanisms related to high blood pressure in people living with HIV on integrase strand transverse inhibitors, which are newer antiretroviral therapy class of medications linked to increased blood pressure, weight gain, dyslipidaemia and adverse cardiovascular outcomes. In addition, I am working on evaluating mechanisms including socioeconomic and neighbourhood characteristics linked to higher out-of-clinic blood pressure in masked hypertension.
What do you hope to achieve in the field of hypertension over the next 5 years?
My goal is to establish myself as an independent researcher investigating mechanisms and to identify the therapeutic targets to manage primary and secondary hypertension, hypertensive phenotypes including hypertension in people living with HIV.
What challenges have you faced in your career to date?
As an immigrant moving to US from India after completing my medical education, there have been numerous challenges faced but also an equal number of opportunities gained in my career in medicine. In the past year during COVID-19 pandemic, I had transitioned from trainee to new investigator. With ongoing disruption of clinical research activities during COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more difficult for new investigators like me to embark on new research projects. I have been able to overcome these difficulties with support of my mentors, institute leadership, and look forward to working in the field of hypertension.
Which of your publications are you proudest of and why (please include paper reference)
I have been proud of all my publications, in particular the manuscripts evaluating cause of higher out-of-clinic blood pressure in masked uncontrolled hypertension where by definition BP is high in this hypertensive phenotype. We reported that higher out-of-clinic sympathetic activity increases aldosterone secretion mediated by renin-angiotensin system relating to higher out-of-clinic BP in patients with masked uncontrolled hypertension.
What is your favourite manuscript from a lab other than your own?
My favourite manuscripts to date are by Gupta & Patel et.al. from University of Leicester on antihypertensive medication adherence. They identified risk factors associated with antihypertensive medication non-adherence and also reported how non-adherent hypertensive patients respond to repeated liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry-based biochemical analysis with improved medication adherence and significant BP drop.
What are your passions outside of work?
My passions outside of work are traveling, cooking and running and in future hope to participate in a marathon.