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Bioengineering Graduate Student Ravi Vats Awarded AHA Predoctoral Fellowship

PITTSBURGH (November 30, 2018) … Ravi Vats, a bioengineering graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, was awarded an American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship. The program will provide two years of support for his work with vaso-occlusive crisis among Sickle Cell Disease patients.

According to the AHA, the Predoctoral Fellowship “enhances the integrated research and clinical training of promising students who are matriculated in pre-doctoral or clinical health professional degree training programs and who intend careers as scientists, physician-scientists or other clinician-scientists, or related careers aimed at improving global cardiovascular health.”

Vats conducts research in Pitt’s Vascular Medicine Institute under the supervision of Prithu Sundd, assistant professor of medicine. His research aims to understand the primary reason for acute painful vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC), which contributes to cardiovascular abnormalities in Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) patients. 

“VOC involves the blocking of a blood vessel, known as vaso-occlusion, across multiple organs, but the cellular, molecular, and biophysical mechanisms that promote widespread vaso-occlusion are unknown,” said Vats. “In an effort to identify new treatments to reduce cardiovascular complications in SCD, we want to understand the mechanisms behind concurrent vaso-occlusion in multiple organs.”

Vats will begin his fellowship on January 1, 2019.


Contact: Leah Russell