Cardiologist Honored by Prestigious Journal

Umesh Sharma, MD, PhD.

Umesh Sharma, MD, PhD

Published May 7, 2019

Umesh Sharma, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, was named an Emerging Investigator by Circulation: Heart Failure, a high-impact medical journal.

A ‘Highly Promising Physician-Scientist’

The Emerging Investigators series highlights important new work by researchers who completed their training less than a decade ago. It recognizes research in the fields of heart failure, mechanical circulatory support, cardiac transplantation and pulmonary hypertension.

“Circulation: Heart Failure is a prestigious journal of the American Heart Association,” explains Anne B. Curtis, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Charles and Mary Bauer Professor and chair of medicine.

“Dr. Sharma’s recognition by them highlights the importance of his research and his emergence as a highly promising physician-scientist in cardiovascular research,” she says.

Paper Featured On Journal’s Homepage

Sharma was first author on “A Small Peptide Ac-SDKP Inhibits Radiation-Induced Cardiomyopathy,” which was prominently featured on the homepage of the August 2018 issue of Circulation: Heart Failure.

The study identified novel cardioprotective effects of Ac-SDKP in a model of cardiac irradiation. These protective effects are exerted by inhibiting inflammation and fibrosis and reducing macrophage activation. 

Ultimately, his study showed a therapeutic potential of this endogenously released peptide to counteract radiation-induced cardiomyopathy.

Diversified Experiences in Research, Mentoring

Sharma’s research spans basic science, translational research and clinical fields and combines the cross-discipline expertise on magnetic resonance technology with molecular biology. His research interest is in radiation-induced cardiovascular diseases in cancer survivors. There is very high incidence of both ischemic and non-ischemic cardiomyopathies in thoracic cancer survivors treated with life-saving radiation therapy, but there are limited therapeutic options to mitigate these effects.

Additionally, Sharma mentors students in UB’s medical education program, as well as residents in both clinical and research settings. He also precepts trainees in UB’s cardiovascular disease fellowship at Buffalo General Medical Center’s Heart and Lung Center.

He completed his medical training at the Institute of Medicine in Nepal before moving to England as a master’s student in medical immunology. After completing immunology training, he started his doctoral training in pressure overload-induced cardiac remodeling at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. During his doctoral training, Sharma published a seminal study describing the role of galectin-3 as a mediator of cardiac remodeling and heart failure. 

Sharma completed his internal medicine residency at the Chicago Medical School, and he went on to complete a fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at the University of Louisville and an advanced cardiac imaging fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Supporting Talented Emerging Investigators

The editors of Circulation: Heart Failure recognize that forming relationships with colleagues around the globe can be a challenge in the early years of a career — when achieving work-life balance is hard and when the path to identifying potential colleagues seems difficult. 

Thus, the Circulation: Heart Failure’s Emerging Investigators program enables researchers like Sharma to interact in an online community within the heart-failure research space.

As an author featured in the Emerging Investigators series, Sharma was invited to attend the journal’s yearly editorial board meeting at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions. He attended in November 2018, giving him unique exposure to the inner workings of the journal.