Published February 25, 2014
As part of its continued commitment to understanding and fighting heart disease, the American Heart Association (AHA) has awarded the University at Buffalo an additional $348,000 for student and faculty research projects.
Virginia Havel Glazier, a PhD student in microbiology and immunology, accepted the new funds on behalf of the university at a press conference promoting Wear Red Day, an AHA event advocating heart disease awareness, especially among women.
Glazier, who is currently conducting research supported by an AHA pre-doctoral fellowship, can attest to the importance of AHA funding.
“Acquiring funding is a key component of doing biomedical research in the academic field, so in that sense, my American Heart Association award is helping advance my career as a scientist,” she says.
Glazier’s research may identify potential therapeutic targets for infections caused by a pathogenic fungus that contributes to mortality in heart transplant patients.
UB faculty members were principal participants in the press conference, which was held to alert people about the importance of cardiovascular health and encourage them to wear red as a symbol of the fight against heart disease — women’s number one killer.
Glenna C. Bett, PhD, president of the advisory board for the American Heart Association’s Buffalo Niagara Division, hosted the event.
The associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology and the department’s vice chair for research has studied differences in EKG recordings between men and women.
“Most women don’t notice the symptoms of heart disease until it’s too late, which is why heart disease has been called the silent killer,” says Bett, who also is a fellow of the American Heart Association and deputy director of the UB Institute for Research and Education on Women and Gender. “Wear Red Day is about breaking that silence.”
Funds raised through the event have supported cutting-edge research and AHA prevention and education programs over the past decade.
These efforts are “truly saving lives,” notes Liz Zulawski, AHA executive director.
“Because of research funded by the American Heart Association, we’ve been able to identify gender-specific inequalities leading to even more gender studies.”
Current UB research projects benefit from $1.8 million in AHA support, including the following affiliated with the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences: