Ms. Shreya Sangam, a Ph.D. candidate in Clinical Translational Sciences, was awarded the American Heart Association 2020 Student Scholarship in Cardiovascular Disease for her research entitled, “Estrogen-mediated SOX17 Regulation in the Development of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.” Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a fatal, sexually dimorphic disease with no cure. Ms. Sangam’s faculty mentor for her Ph.D. is Dr. Ankit Desai; both recently moved from the University of Arizona to Indiana University, where Ms. Sangam is completing the research for her CTS dissertation.
According to Ms. Sangam, “My primary focus is on the regulation and role of SOX17, an endothelial cell-specific transcription factor, in endothelial cell biology and determining interactions between SOX17 and estrogen signaling and associated gender disparity in pulmonary arterial hypertension. Dr. Desai encouraged me to submit a proposal for this award to further support my work. The funds will be used to cover my stipend and lab expenses.”
“This highly competitive AHA award recognizes Shreya’s hard work, productivity, and developing skill sets during her transition as an independent investigator,” states Dr. Desai. “Conceptually, SOX17 was recently reported as a novel candidate gene associated with the risk of developing PAH across approximately two thousand patients. Moreover, a gender disparity is well-established in PAH with a 4:1 female to male ratio for disease predilection. Shreya has observed a novel mechanism linking estrogen signaling with the role of SOX17 in PAH, bridging genetic and well-established clinical observations in PAH.”