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Research to Take to Heart

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 23, 2009) − The ballroom is filled with expectant young faces, bright with anticipation—not for the next dance, but for their work to be evaluated and recognized.

It’s the 12th Annual UK Gill Cardiovascular Research Day, and the Lexington Convention Center is filled with dozens of young investigators as well as seasoned experts in the field. The work on display on row after row of posters mounted on portable display boards is largely done in the UK Cardiovascular Research Center, led by Alan Daugherty, the center’s director and associate dean for research at the UK College of Medicine. The top posters will be recognized at a dinner this evening.

Speakers for the day include UK President Lee T. Todd Jr.; Jeffrey Robbins, Ph.D., professor of pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and senior associate editor, Circulation Research (“Stress and the Heart”); Ushma S. Neill, Ph.D., executive editor, The Journal of Clinical Investigation (“What Works in Scientific Publishing”); and Kenneth M. Baker, M.D., F.A.H.A., professor and vice chair for research, Department of Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science, (“Intracellular Renin-Angiotensin System: A New Paradigm”).

The day ends with the presentation of awards sponsored by the Saha Foundation. This year’s awardees are:

  • University of Kentucky recipient: Rachael Pedigo, a student in the Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) program at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. Pedigo works as a patient care technician in the Cardiac Care and Cardiothoracic Intensive Care units at UK. Pedigo would like to work in the CCU after her graduation as a nurse. She would like to continue her education at UK to obtain future degrees in hopes of a career in nursing leadership or cardiac research. Pedigo is a commonwealth scholar and is on the Dean’s List. She volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House in her spare time.
  • UK College of Medicine recipient: Matthew Giannetti is a third-year medical student at the UK College of Medicine. He has had experience with cardiovascular research for two years as well as experience at the University of Michigan, Department of Radiology and the Department of Pharmacology as a research assistant.
  • Eastern Kentucky Student Recipient: Elizabeth Hood, of Corbin, Ky. Hood is a nursing assistant in the float pool at Central Baptist Hospital and is a student in the BSN program at Eastern Kentucky University. She would like to work in a cardiac intensive care unit after graduation.
  • Central Baptist Hospital Recipient: Deborah Gill, RN, is a UK College of Nursing student in the RN-BSN program and works as a telemetry nurse at Central Baptist Hospital. Deborah would like to be a clinical instructor in cardiac nursing. Deborah is an active community volunteer.
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