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About me:

Hello! I am Nirupama Ramadas, from Penn State College of Medicine. I am a highly organized person and thrive on challenges and constantly set goals for myself. I am always looking for an opportunity to do better and constantly work on improving myself in my field. I can work both independently and in a team. 


I am looking for a postdoctoral position in cardiovascular physiology, endothelial dysfunction, and integrated physiology.

Experience

My long-term goal is to be an independent investigator in physiology to develop a comprehensive understanding of the pathophysiology of metabolic diseases and design therapeutic management strategies to improve health. It is my career objective to eventually become a principal researcher who can specialize in developing therapeutic interventions or management strategies to fight against metabolic diseases and vascular complications.

With my doctoral studies and as a postdoctoral fellow, I started being active in studying vascular biology, in particular vascular inflammation and chronic stress-induced atherosclerosis. During my postdoctoral training under Dr. Srinivasan Vedantham, I worked on the vascular inflammation induced by gestational diabetes mellitus supported by the Indian Council of Medical Research -Department of Health Research (ICMR-DHR) Young Scientist fellowship grant from the Department of Science and Technology, India, with the project entitled “Impact of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) on the fetoplacental vascular function”. The study demonstrated the role of VEGF 165 and its splice variant VEGF 165b (antiangiogenic factor) in damaging the endothelium of GDM mothers. This project trained me in the field of vascular biology. This project improved my knowledge of the vascular inflammation that is typically observed before atherosclerotic lesion formation.

During my doctoral studies, I became a part of a research laboratory that elucidated the role of stress in the development of the metabolic syndrome and atherosclerotic lesions. My project was mainly focused on how chronic stress induces glucose metabolism changes and leads to the development of metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and atherosclerosis. 

I chose Dr. He’s lab because her research focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms and transport pathways of microvessel dysfunction associated with cardiovascular diseases. She has a lot of experience and expertise in microvascular studies. Her research involves exploring the pathophysiology of increased vascular permeability induced by inflammatory mediators and reactive oxygen species. One of the projects currently conducted in the lab is to examine the role of red blood cell-released ATP in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis. The lab has well- established high-fat diet (HFD) induced atherosclerosis model and all of the techniques for quantification of plaque formations, cytokine evaluations, macrophage infiltrations and aortic root histopathology. During the past 2 years, I was actively involved in various studies in cardiovascular diseases and learnt several essential techniques employed in the lab including aortic dissection, histology of aortic root, macrophage infiltration and fluorescence microscopy. My main research interest is to investigate the impact of lifestyle alterations on vascular disease development. My doctoral studies had also focused on the reduction of chronic stress-induced atherosclerosis with the use of Indian herbs, Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) and Acorus calamus (Vacha) instead of exercise. My current study focuses on reducing plaque development or improving plaque stability with lifestyle alterations like exercise, without using medications or surgical procedures. Hyperlipidemia is considered a strong risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. This study is mainly focused on the impact of exercise in the regulation of progression of atherosclerosis. In view of these, this opportunity would be helpful for me to develop as an independent researcher.

Education

I am working as a postdoc (3rd year) in Prof. Pingnian He's lab in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology. I am the lead researcher investigating the role of sustained exercise in alleviating the high fat diet-induced atherosclerosis in Apo E KO mice. We are studying the resolution processes activated due to exercise. We have obtained promising results. I was awarded "Women in Physiology- Postdoctoral Research Award" under the "Environmental and Exercise Physiology" section in Experimental Biology -2021 conference organized by the American Physiological Society. 

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