Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Arkansas and in the U.S. as a whole. Known risk factors for heart disease in adults include high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, obesity, suboptimal diet, and physical inactivity. Early life exposure can impact health and disease across the life course. Understanding early-life factors and their relations to trajectories of cardiometabolic health can help us develop effective and strategic interventions directed towards critical time periods to prevent cardiometabolic disease.
This is a very exciting opportunity to initiate a strong life course program at UAMS in collaboration with Arkansas Children’s focusing on improving cardiometabolic health.Dr. Borsheim
How will the funding and establishment of the hub boost/accelerate the work that is being done in this area?
The funding will bring together researchers at the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center, the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute, and at the UAMS campus, who work along a spectrum from pre-pregnancy, gestation, childhood, adolescents, young adults, and older adults. Thus, it will bridge research in pediatrics and geriatrics. The funding will help kickstart unique teamwork on lifespan/healthspan research, including initiating infrastructure to facilitate such collaborations. It is expected that the work will lead to training of new diverse investigators in the field, and to collaborative research publications and grants for further expansion of the team’s work.
The Caliber of the UAMS researchers currently working in this area.
The team consists of senior, early- and mid-career investigators. Several of the senior team members are listed in the recent study from Stanford University ranking the top 2% most influential researchers, highlighting the expertise and strong mentoring potential within the team.
Additional team members are from the Department of Pediatrics, Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center (ACNC), and/or Arkansas Children’s Research Institute: Aline Andres, Ph.D., R.D., Professor (Associate Director ACNC); Eva. C. Diaz, M.D., Assistant Professor; Mario Ferruzzi, Ph.D., Professor (ACNC Center Director; Section Chief Developmental Nutrition); Craig Porter, Ph.D., Associate Professor; Elijah Bolin, M.D., Associate Professor; Emir Tas, M.D., Assistant Professor, Keshari Thakali, Ph.D., Assistant Professor; from the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine: Taren Swindle, Ph.D., Associate Professor (also ACNC); and from the Department of Geriatrics/ Reynolds Institute on Aging: Jeannie Wei, M.D., Ph.D. (Chair); Robert R. Wolfe, Ph.D., Professor; Arny Ferrando, Ph.D., Professor; Gohar Azhar, M.D., Professor.
Importance of interdisciplinary collaboration?
Interdisciplinary collaboration is mutually beneficial for team members and enhances outcomes. Our Hub includes basic, clinical and implementation scientists. Such collaboration enables evaluation of the clinical and applied value of the research, ensuring high significance.