VRIC agenda taking shape, poster sessions to return

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The biology of vascular disease—including molecular mechanisms and the immune system—will take center stage on May 4 in Chicago at the 2020 Vascular Research Initiatives Conference (VRIC) meeting of the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS).

The conference, VRIC Chicago 2020: “From Discovery to Translation,” will be at the Hilton Chicago in Chicago.

“Quick-Shot” poster presentations will return. The talks, highly successful in their first year in 2019, provide an additional chance for researchers to present their work, said Luke Brewster, MD. He chairs the SVS Research and Education Committee, which oversees VRIC.

Mohammad Zayed, MD, will again oversee the poster sessions, which will be presented “in honor of our colleague and friend” Thomas Monahan, MD, who died in May 2019, explained Brewster. Monahan, a nationally successful researcher, was a regular presence at VRIC meetings and also had been a member of the Research and Education Committee.

In addition to being on the faculty at the University of Maryland, Monahan had completed the rigorous Harvard-Longwood Research Training in Vascular Surgery, under the direction of SVS member Frank LoGerfo, MD, and had overseen projects with prestigious R01 funding from the National Institutes of Health.

He completed his fellowship at the University of California San Francisco shortly after fellow SVS member Jason MacTaggart, MD, who will speak briefly about Monahan during the poster presentations.

The VRIC agenda also includes a total of four abstract sessions. They are: hemostasis, thrombosis and venous disease; vascular regeneration, stem cells and wound healing; aortopathies and novel vascular devices; as well as atherosclerosis, arterial injury and diabetes.

Philip S. Tsao, PhD, of Stanford University, will present the Alexander W. Clowes Distinguished Lecture on “Molecular Mechanisms of AAA Disease.” Tsao also is associate chief of staff for precision medicine at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System and director of the VA Palo Alto Epidemiology Research and Information Center for Genomics.

The Translational Panel will tackle the important topic of “Immunology and Vascular Disease,” and additionally will feature international leaders in the topic, said Brewster.

The speakers include:

  • Kathryn Moore, PhD, the Jean and David Blechman Professor of Cardiology (Medicine) and professor of cell biology at NYU Langone Medical Center, an international expert on the molecular pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and vascular disease; and
  • Katey Rayner, PhD, director of the Cardiometabolic microRNA Laboratory at
    the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, an international expert on vascular inflammation and RNA biology

“We are beyond thrilled to have these leaders in immunology-related vascular research and expect a great interactive session,” said Katherine Gallagher, MD, who helped organize this session on immunology-based vascular research with Jayer Chung, MD. Both are members of the Research and Education Committee.

“This is where I believe the future of our treatment modality will be,” said Brewster of the Translational Panel session. “Interaction between the immune system and vascular disease and vascular health has been accepted for a long time.

“However, the actual beneficial and pathologic mediators of vascular disease are not well-known— but they’re becoming more important. This session will bring two of the thought leaders in the field to our group for interactive discussion and, hopefully, stimulate collaboration among the attendees.”

The conference, said Brewster, “is going to be fantastic. We’re very excited to be in Chicago. And we not only have a great scientific program in store but also a fun social program as well. I encourage anyone interested in research or mentoring researchers to attend.”

For more information and to register, visit vsweb.org/VRIC20.

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