More than 100 investigators, students, and trainees with an interest in translational research attended the Vascular Research Initiatives Conference (VRIC) in Toronto. Held one day before the American Heart Association’s Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Meeting, VRIC fosters interaction among top scientists of diverse disciplines who are investigating peripheral vascular disease and its treatments.
"Everyone made outstanding presentations of cutting-edge research findings," said Dr. John Curci, course director. "Two themes showing promise in translational research are the use of stem cells to alter vascular disease progression and the evaluation of microRNA in diseased tissue and circulation, which may lead to better understanding of disease pathology as well as novel diagnostic testing strategies."
For the first time, a scientific poster session was added at VRIC, and according to Dr. Curci, it stimulated significant discussion. Additional opportunities for interaction occurred during the group luncheon and postmeeting gathering.
"VRIC’s unique value as a meeting stems from its primary focus on translational research," Dr. Curci said. "Almost by definition, translational research requires a community of interactive and collaborative scientists to identify and develop promising therapeutic and diagnostic technologies. The VRIC meeting has evolved to put that collaborative interaction as a central feature."
VRIC is also dedicated to stimulating and encouraging interest in research among aspiring academic vascular surgeons. Each year, the SVS Foundation supports travel scholarships for the top-scoring abstracts submitted by trainees to attend VRIC. The travel scholarship includes complimentary registration to VRIC and the ATVB meeting, along with a $1,000 award for conference travel. Recipients of this year’s VRIC trainee travel scholarship are:
• Dr. M. Freeman, University of Tennessee Medical Center - Knoxville
Title: Androgen Deficiency Influences Matrix Metalloproteinase Expression and Intimal Hyperplasia Development after Vascular Injury
• Moritz Lindquist Liljeqvist, Karolinska Institutet - Sweden
Title: Finite Element Models With Patient Specific Wall Strength Estimations Improve Growth Predictions of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms
• Dr. Andrea Obi, University of Michigan
Title: Endothelial Dysfunction Potentiates Deep Venous Thrombosis in a Mouse Model of Sepsis
• Dr. Jonathan R. Thompson, University of Nebraska Medical Center
Title: Mortality Rates of Patients With Peripheral Arterial Disease Are Predicated by The Respiratory Activities of The Gastrocnemius Mitochondrial Complexes I and IV
The next VRIC will be held May 6, 2015, in San Francisco.