September 21

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Pharmacology chair earns AHA’s HTN excellence honor

Dr. Richard Roman, Billy S. Guyton Distinguished Professor and chair of pharmacology and toxicology, received the 2017 Excellence Award for Hypertension Research from the American Heart Association at the AHA Council on Hypertension Joint Scientific Sessions Sept. 14-17 in San Francisco.


Roman’s research focuses on the interaction between genes and hypertension. He studies 20-HETE, a molecule that constricts blood vessels and increases sodium excretion. Mutations in the genes that make 20-HETE have been tied to hypertension and stroke. Roman’s research group has shown that these changes are also associated with dementia in older patients.

“This and other research lays the groundwork for much needed clinical trials looking at drugs that target 20-HETE for the treatment of stroke, heart attack and cancer,” said Roman, a member of the UMMC faculty since 2009.

Sponsored by Novartis, the Excellence Award for Hypertension honors excellence in research and discoveries in the field of hypertension. Nominees are assessed by a committee on their impact in the field of hypertension throughout their careers, as well as any single discovery.

“It is a great honor to be recognized,” Roman said, “particularly considering the outstanding contributions of past recipients of this award.”

Multiple people affiliated with the Medical Center have received this award in its 50-year history. They include Dr. Arthur Guyton, former professor and chair of physiology (1980); Dr. Allen Cowley, former faculty and alumnus (1997); Dr. John Hall, professor and chair of physiology (2002) and alumnus Dr. L. Gabriel Navar (2012).

Dr. Allyn Mark, professor of internal medicine at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, also received the 2017 Excellence Award for Hypertension Research.



M.D.-Ph.D. student's poster garners AHA HTN accolade

Ashley Newsome, a sixth-year M.D.-Ph.D. student, received the Outstanding Poster Presentation Membership Award at the American Heart Association Council on Hypertension Joint Scientific Sessions in San Francisco Sept. 14-17.

Newsome’s poster, “Does Intrauterine Growth Restriction Present a Greater Susceptibility to Chronic Kidney Injury with Aging?” is based on her dissertation research in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics.

Sponsored by the Council on Hypertension Trainee Advocacy Committee and the AHA membership team, the prize pays for one year of AHA membership.

Newsome’s Ph.D. advisor is Dr. Barbara Alexander, professor of physiology and biophysics.