Professor Teresa Maria Seccia

Position: Associate Professor in Internal Medicine

Affiliation: University of Padova, Italy


1.     What is your role at your work?

I work as a physician, a teacher for students, residents and PhD students, and as an investigator. My research fields are the cardiac and kidney damage in hypertension, and primary aldosteronism.

2.     How did you get interested in your career path?

At the beginning of my career I was impressed by the organ damage caused by hypertension. At that time, when treatment of high blood pressure was challenging and cardiovascular events were often deadful, I was attracted by the molecular changes that characterized the myocardiocytes of hypertrophied ventricles.

3.     What are you most proud of in your career or otherwise?

As a physician I am proud of that care that I give to my patients, and as an investigator I am proud of my enthusiasm for new projects.

4.     What important career challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?

Some years ago, since I had no financial resources to complete a study I asked a colleague for a loan. When I got financial resources, she refused to be refunded. It was a very generous gift for me.

5.     What advice would you give your younger self?

Have a dream, and pursue it. But do not go against your principles.

6.     Highlight your most significant research contributions and publications (3-5) – if relevant to you.

1. Endothelin-1 drives epithelial-mesenchymal transition in hypertensive nephroangiosclerosis. J Am Heart Assoc. 2016.

2. Cardiac fibrosis occurs early and involves endothelin and AT-1 receptors in hypertension due to endogenous angiotensin IIJ Am Coll Cardiol 2013.

3. Adrenocorticotropic hormone stimulation during adrenal vein sampling for identifying surgically curable subtypes of primary aldosteronism: comparison of 3 different protocols. Hypertension 2009.

I have chosen such papers because they are representative of my research.

7.     Have you had any significant career mentors? If yes, please provide further details.

I am indebted to Prof. Gian Paolo Rossi and Prof. Achille C. Pessina who invited me to move to the University of Padova and join their research group in 2007.

Prof. Reinhold Kreutz was my tutor when I worked at the Freie Universitat in Berlin for a project on cardiac fibrosis. Reiner is still a mentor for me.

8.     How can we support the next generation of women scientists?

We could favour spreading of knowledge and enthusiasm for research by involving women at a very early age, even before admission to the University Medical School.