Vascular Biology Center takes 1st place during the five day competition “Win the Feud, Give Some Food” with the largest
amount of items donated to the Open Paws Pantry (October 3-7, 2022). Donations directly
benefit AU students.
The Open Paws Pantry is FREE to all students. All food and non-food items are accepted but many of the needs are
grab-and-go food, toiletries, and microwavable food items.
Open Paws Pantry Flyer
Front: Candee Barris, Karl Diaz-Sanders, Brand Goo, Zsuzsanna Bordan, Josue Zambrano-Carrasco
Middle: Maria Blahove, Cody Rosewater, Zach Brown, Tayler Kress, Suhib Alhusban
Back: David Kim, Steve Haigh, Drew Speese
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of
death for men and women in the United States…and in the CSRA. Scientists at MCG have
discovered a new target in the treatment of the incurable disease. And regulating
that target could save hundreds of thousands of lives each year.
Coronary artery disease- the most common type of heart disease- occurs when cholesterol
and fat block the passage of blood flow to your heart.
Scientists at MCG have found that the smooth muscle cells that give those blood vessels
strength respond by getting bigger and multiplying. Unfortunately, this further contributes
to the disease.
.The NIH-funded, highly competitive T32 training grant currently supports the PhD
work of four graduate students: Candee Barris, Drew Speese, Katie Anne Fopiano and
Prestigious NIH grant supports Augusta University student researchers
AU Days of Service
Team VBC, lead by Captain, Candee Barris, joins Augusta University Annual Days of Service to raise money for the final event held Nov 12th at SRP Park in North Augusta, CSRA Walk for Water
Every day, millions of women and children in developing countries walk nearly 4 miles
to retrieve water for their family’s daily needs. In most cases, even after walking
for miles and miles, the water they have to drink is contaminated. Our walk will simulate
this trek to raise awareness of the global water crisis here in our community. Each
participant will start the walk with an empty bucket. About halfway through, they
will fill that bucket with water and complete the remainder of the course. We hope
that all participants end the walk with a better understanding of the daily challenges
people around the world face in search of something that we often take for granted
– water. The CSRA Walk for Water 2022 will bring together teams of participants from
both sides of the Savannah River and all walks of life as we boldly battle the global
water crisis, which affects 2.1 billion people around the world. Together, we can
make a real difference by bringing safe water to people in need.
Left to right - Eric Belin de Chantemele, Brandee Goo, Karyl Holliday, Drew Speese,
Left to right- Brandee Goo, Eric Belin de Chantemele, Drew Speese, Gabor Csanyi, an
event organizer, Karyl Holiday
Graduate student, Maria Blahove who is mentored by Dr. Gabor Csanyi, received The Anthony Shuker Scientific Poster
Award at the
Center for Global Health Innovation (CGHI) Bio Innovation Summit held October 11th in Atlanta, GA.
Maria’s project is a collaboration between Gabor Csanyi, PhD and Brian Stansfield,
Karl Diaz-Sanders featured for National Hispanic Heritage Month
Graduate Student, Karl Diaz-Sanders (Sullivan lab) is featured on The Graduate School Facebook and Instagram during National Hispanic Heritage Month.
"Karl Diaz-Sanders is a second year PhD student here at AU! He is working toward a
Doctorate in Vascular Biology. When he isn't in his lab, he loves playing the drums!
Karl is most proud of his recent talk he gave at a conference where he was able to
highlight his research (as a first year PhD student!) He chose AU because of the holistic
approach to wellness, specifically the economic wellness provided by affordable tuition
and the educational wellness provided by the great faculty. Karl's favorite resource
for grads is the Center for Writing Excellence, which offers one-on-one writing support.
Karl is excited to be featured during National Hispanic Heritage Month because he
wants to be a representations of the values within the Chicano community in healthcare!
He ultimately hopes to work in immunology with the National Institute for Health."
- Instagram Post from the Graduate School.
Welcome to the VBC!
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Benard Ogola joined our faculty as Assistant Professor
on June 1, 2022. Dr. Ogola received his PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Texas
Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy in Amarillo, Texas. His
research interest is focused on understanding the role of sex chromosomes contribution
to cardiovascular disease including arterial stiffening. We look forward to learning
more of his research investigating the interplay of sex hormones and chromosomes and
their impact on vascular function to identify novel targets for hormone therapy in
cardiovascular disease. Take a moment to visit Dr. Ogola in his lab CB-3205. He may
have a box you can unpack.
Congratulations to our 2022 Graduates!
Kareem Abdelsaid, mentored by Dr. Tohru Fukai and Dr. Masuko Ushio-Fukai, successfully
defended his thesis entitled “Cu Transporter ATP7A and Extracellular SOD Function
in Adaptive Angiogenesis and Regeneration of Skeletal Muscles in Response to Exercise
or Injury: Role of Exosomes”. Dr. Abdelsaid is now a postdoctoral fellow at The Medical
University of South Carolina (MUSC).
Caleb Padgett, mentored by Dr. David Stepp, successfully defended his thesis entitled
“The Roles of Circadian Disruption and Reactive Oxygen Species Overproduction in the
Development of Obesity-Associated Cardiovascular Disease”. Dr. Padgett will now pursue
an MD beginning Fall semester at The Medical College of Georgia.
Great results from hard work. Well done!
Welcome, New Graduate Students!
Maria Blahove, Zach Brown, Cody Rosewater, Mitch Shivers, Josue Zambrano-Carrasco
Front Row: Josue Zambrano-Carrasco, Dr. David Stepp, Maria Blahove, Dr. Huabo Su,
Back Row: Zach Brown, Dr. David Fulton, Dr. Gabor Csanyi,
Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology and The American Heart Association
Investigator in Training Award
Postdoctoral fellow Qian Ma, Dr. Yuqing Huo's lab, was selected to receive ATVB Investigators
In Training Award at the Vascular Discovery: From Genes to Medicine 2022 Scientific
Sessions held in Seattle, WA May 12-14, 2022.
Congratulations Dr. Ma!
American Heart Association Cardio-Oncology Strategically Focused Research Network
A prestigious group gathered on our campus for the American Heart Association Cardio-Oncology
Strategically Focused Research Network Semiannual Meeting. It was last summer when
the AHA announced this new network on disparities in cardio-oncology that is pursuing
the intersection of heart disease and cancer, common conditions that share common
risks like obesity and chronic inflammation, with the goal of better understanding
the dynamics and how to better identify and address this intersection which disproportionately
affects underrepresented populations. MCG, Boston University School of Medicine, the
Medical College of Wisconsin and the University of Pennsylvania are the institutions
selected for this important initiative.
CSRA AHA Heart Ball
In more than 150 communities across the country, Heart Ball supporters unite with
a shared purpose to raise the critical funds we need to ensure our work continues.
Throughout our campaign we celebrate our milestones, we thank our sponsors and we
honor our heroes. We come together to achieve something bigger than ourselves.
Kudos Experimental Biology 2022 Awardees
- APS Cardiovascular Section Clinical Science Young Investigator Award – Reem Atawia
- APS Cardiovascular Section Outstanding Postdoctoral Trainee Finalist – Benard Ogola
- APS Cardiovascular Section Research Recognition Award – Caleb Padgett
February 4, 2022 is the Annual American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Day to increase women’s heart health awareness. Most heart disease and
stroke deaths are preventable, cardiovascular diseases continue to be a woman’s greatest