This first-in-its-class training program sponsored by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute and led by co-PIs, Dr. Willa Hsueh and Dr. Sakima Smith has successfully hosted our first Cardiometabolic Science Boot Camp! It was an exciting opportunity for researchers in diabetes and heart disease to collaborate, and for our Fellows and other trainees to hear from our medical professionals in the field of cardiometabolic science. The lectures and discussions were geared toward informing and cultivating our next generation of leaders who will one day be at the forefront of advancements in cardiometabolic science. The series included informative lectures from faculty. Interesting highlights of the Cardiometabolic Science lectures include:

What is Cardiometabolic Science?

Willa Hsueh, MD, Professor of Medicine, Director Diabetes and Metabolism Research Center, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, focused on obesity and its critical role in cardiometabolic disease, particularly the role of the adipocyte as an instigator of inflammation and other processes that impair normal metabolism.

Nutrition’s Impact on Cardiovascular Disease and Metabolism

Matrha Belury, PhD, Carol S. Kennedy Professor of Human Nutrition, Program Chair, Human Nutrition, Department of Human Sciences, emphasized the role of nutrients in preventing deficiencies and how human diet has changed over the years, particularly describing her work on the positive metabolic effects of linoleic acid and the negative effects of palmitate.

Proteomics and Metabolomics

Vicki Wysocki, PhD, Ohio Eminent Scholar of Macromolecular Structure and Function, Director of the OSU Campus Chemical Instrument Center, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, provided an excellent overview of combined proteomics and metabolomics analysis to study different disease systems. She applied her technology to understanding microbial ecology during Salmonella infection for decoding deregulated pathways and improving prophylactic and therapeutic options in the future.

Metabolic Basis and Consequences of Heart Failure

E. Douglas Lewandowski, PhD, FAHA, FISHR, FAAAS, Professor, Division of Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Director, Translational Research, Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, Diabetes and Metabolism Research Center, discussed heart failure and primary pathological stress and diabetic cardiomyopathy that associate with insulin resistance. His research lecture focused on discovering the metabolic origin of impaired contractile function in the diseased heart and the influence of altered cardiac metabolism on peripheral organs and systemic metabolism. His identified mechanisms of impaired lipid uptake, storage and downstream of fatty acid metabolism that lead to impaired transcriptional regulation of metabolic gene activation, formation of intracellular lipotoxic intermediates, and compromised energy metabolism in cardiac mitochondria.

The Heart in Cardiometabolic Disease

Sakima A. Smith, MD, MPH, FAHA, Associate Professor of Medicine, Advanced Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation, Vice Chair for Diversity & Inclusion, Department of Internal Medicine, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Heart & Vascular Center, Associate Program Director, Cardiovascular Fellowship Training Program, presented patient cases of cardiovascular disease that were induced by systemic metabolic alterations. These cases provided important insight into how endocrine dysfunction induces cardiac and vascular abnormalities.

Transcriptomics and Epigenetics

Eugene Oltz, PhD, Chair, Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity, Samuel Saslaw Professor of Infectious Diseases, provided a comprehensive discussion of transcriptomic and epigenetic state-of-the-art technologies that are available at OSU through his department and collaborations. He provided illustrations of how these technologies could be helpful to researchers.

Diversity in Research

Jill A. Rafael-Fortney, PhD, Professor, Department of Physiology & Cell Biology, Director, Center for Muscle Health & Neuromuscular Disorders, Director, Cardiac Predoctoral T32 Training Program, highlighted the importance of diversity and pointed out ways to avoid unconscious bias and include women and underrepresented minorities. She also listed seminars to find out more on this topic.

Mechanisms of Atherosclerosis and Vascular Injury

Prabha Nagareddy, M. Pharm, PhD, Associate Professor, Division of Cardiac Surgery, discussed mechanisms of vascular injury and described his own research linking the bone marrow, immune cells, and atherosclerosis, particularly focusing on macrophages, which are key cells in plagues that contribute to cholesterol accumulation.

Use of Biomedical Informatics to Enhance Research in Cardiometabolic Disease

Lang Li, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Biomedical Informatics, College of Medicine, presented details on how his department could be helpful to researchers in a variety of areas from epidemiology to basic research. His department has an extensive hospital-based data bank that can be quired. His own research focus involved drug-drug interactions.

With this success of Cardiometabolic Science Boot Camp in mind, we are excited to announce of our official T32 class 8102 Cardiac Metabolics which will start in January 2022. T32 class 8102 Cardiac Metabolics was organized by Dr. Kristin Stanford, Associate Director of DMRC and sponsored by the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology. More to come in our next newsletter.