Two junior faculty members in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine have each been granted Career Development Awards (CDA) from the American Heart Association (AHA). Modar Kassan, PhD, and Ajit Vikram, PhD, will each receive three-year, $231,000 grants to pursue their individual research projects. The CDA is given to, in the AHA’s words, “highly promising” researchers, “to explore innovative questions or pilot studies that will provide preliminary data and training necessary to assure … future success as a research scientist in the field of cardiovascular and stroke research.”
Dr. Kassan’s project seeks to enhance cardiovascular function in individuals with obesity and diabetes. He will explore vascular serotonin and miR-204 as potential cardiovascular-therapeutic agents. Dr. Vikram is also exploring the intersection of vascular disease and diabetes by better understanding how gut bacteria promote endothelia dysfunction leading to atherosclerosis and diabetes.
Both Dr. Kassan and Dr. Vikram are members of the Abboud Cardiovascular Research Center and the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center. They will conduct their research in the Irani Lab group, and will be mentored by Dr. Kaikobad Irani during the award period.