- Tell us about yourself.
I am José Patricio López, and I am 31 years old. I have a physician degree and then trained in Internal Medicine and Cardiology in Colombia. Soon I will start a Cardio-oncology fellowship training at McMaster University in Canada.
- What are your research interests?
Since the early stages of my professional career, I have been involved in cardiovascular risk factors epidemiology research. In recent years I have worked on the role of muscle mass and function in the pathways related to cardiovascular risk factors. Additionally, I am interested in how muscle strength and resistance training interventions can help control hypertension.
- What are you working on right now?
I am working as a research fellow at the Universidad de Santander (UDES) in Colombia. Currently, we are validating the most well-known cardiovascular risk prediction scales for the Colombian population based on the data of the PURE-Colombia cohort study. We are also conducting the CATCH study; the main objective is to improve hypertension control in Jamaica and Colombia using a team-based care approach. Additionally, we are conducting the EFFIT-2 study, a multinational research evaluating the effect of a strength training intervention on multiple metabolic factors, including hypertension.
- What do you hope to achieve in the field of hypertension over the next 5 years?
Generate and disseminate a greater knowledge about the importance of muscle strength/function in the control of cardiovascular risk factors. Additionally help transform the vision of hypertension control to not only a physician-based approach but a whole group of multidisciplinary care.
- What challenges have you faced in your career to date?
Mainly gaining credibility internationally when you come from a low-middle-income country. When you try to communicate initiatives or publish papers, sometimes the fact of not coming from high-income countries gives you a lower handicap.
- Which of your publications are you proudest of and why
The publication showing that increased abdominal circumference and low muscle strength generate a synergic effect, resulting in a worse metabolic profile. This publication was made with data from the PURE-Colombia cohort study that we lead nationally. The study includes about 7,500 participants from 11 country departments, representing about 51% of the population.
Lopez-Lopez JP, Cohen DD, Ney-Salazar D, Martinez D, Otero J, Gomez-Arbelaez D, et al. The prediction of Metabolic Syndrome alterations is improved by combining waist circumference and handgrip strength measurements compared to either alone. Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2021;20(1):68.
- What is your favourite manuscript from a lab other than your own?
My favorite manuscript is the one published by Salvador Moncada in 1976 in Nature. The work is about the discovery of the role of prostaglandins in the regulation of cardiovascular physiology and specifically in platelet function. The fact that Dr. Moncada is Latin American and had a remarkable influence on cardiovascular medicine and demonstrated that people from our region can produce good-quality scientific contributions motivates me to continue working.
Moncada S, Gryglewski R, Bunting S, Vane JR. An enzyme isolated from arteries transforms prostaglandin endoperoxides to an unstable substance that inhibits platelet aggregation. Nature. 1976;263(5579):663-5.
- What are your passions outside of work?
Two passions. The first is sports; during my adolescence, I competed as a junior tennis player at the national level; at some point, I thought to dedicate myself to becoming a professional tennis player. I play soccer on weekends to share with my friends, and I play golf with my father and his friends; I have been running for a couple of years, looking to achieve the challenge of 21K! My second passion is music; I play the piano, mainly ballads and classical music.