Council for High Blood Pressure Research/InterAmerican Society of Hypertension/International Society of Hypertension: First New Investigators Symposium at the High Blood Pressure Research 2011 Scientific Sessions
For the very first time, the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) sponsored the ISH New Investigators Symposium on September 21, 2011, in Orlando, FL, entitled, “A Global Hypertension Initiative: Trainee/New Investigator Session” as part of the High Blood Pressure Research 2011 Scientific Sessions. This symposium was cosponsored by ISH, the InterAmerican Society of Hypertension, the American Heart Association's Council for High Blood Pressure Research and the Council on the Kidney in Cardiovascular Disease, and was organized entirely by the newly formed ISH New Investigators Committee (NIC; Figure 1) and young/new investigators (students, postdoctoral fellows, and early career scientists) in hypertension research.1 The symposium consisted of a half-day event with both oral and poster presentations of highly rated abstracts highlighting the most recent advances in hypertension research by young researchers. The scientific program was abstract based with >100 abstracts reviewed by new investigators as assigned by NIC. Top-scoring abstracts received an invitation for either oral or poster presentation based on their scientific merit. The program provided an opportunity for learning, networking, and socializing among budding scientists from around the world. More than 50 new investigators across 5 continents presented their research at the session, making it a truly “global” hypertension initiative, which was targeted toward young researchers.
Dr Stephen Harrap, current ISH president, introduced the symposium, along with Dr Dylan Burger of the NIC. Two interactive oral sessions followed, with each having 6 presentations. Dr Fadi Charchar of the NIC moderated the first oral session along with Dr Eric George, which included presentations relating to immune and neural contributions to hypertension. Dr Praveen Veerabhadrappa of the NIC and Catherine Howard moderated the second oral session, composed of presentations relating to the renin-angiotensin system, oxidative stress, and novel therapeutic strategies. Both oral sessions generated interesting and enthusiastic discussion among new and established investigators. The following researchers, who gave oral presentations, were recipients of ISH Oral Awards: Michael Flister, Jiandong Zhang, Kedra Wallace, Frank S. Ong, Yumei Feng, Neha Singh, Ricardo A. Pena Silva, Antonia G. Miller, Xifeng Lu, Sarah H. Lindsey, Huijing Xia, and Johannes Stegbauer (Figure 2). After the presentations, Dr Praveen Veerabhadrappa closed the oral session by thanking the participants and highlighting the next New Investigator Symposium to be held at Hypertension Sydney 2012–The 24th Meeting of the ISH in collaboration with the Ninth Congress of the Asian Pacific Society of Hypertension and the 34th Annual Scientific Meeting of the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia. Dr Veerabhadrappa encouraged those trainees who were not members to consider joining the new investigator network of ISH. Information regarding future ISH New Investigators Symposia may be found at http://www,ish-world.com/Nin/.
Poster Tour and Follow-Up Discussions
In the evening, a final session allowed all of the attendees to view the posters consisting of 39 top-scoring abstracts across a variety of scientific disciplines. The presenters explained their work, and other trainees were invited to ask questions and facilitate the discussions. The poster presentations were graded, and the top 13 presentations received awards on site. Once again, the quality of the science generated enthusiastic discussion and networking among all of the participants. The following individuals were awarded ISH Poster Awards: Richard D. Wainford, Andrea Zsombok, Lucinda M. Hilliard, Shannon M. Harlan, Mariane Bertagnolli, Catherine G. Howard, Jasenka Zubcevic, Jeremy Prokop, Jennifer M. Sasser, Kathirvel Gopalakrishnan, Andreas M. Beyer, Fernanda R. Giachini, and Keisa W. Mathis (Figure 2).
The success of this symposium would not have been possible without the support, guidance, and mentorship of Drs Rhian Touyz, Gabriel Navar, Greg Fink, Bo Carlberg, and Stephen Harrap; the superb assistance from ISH and American Heart Association staff (Helen Horsfield, Secretariat ISH; Jewell Jessup, InterAmerican Society of Hypertension Secretariat; and Susan Kunish, Manager, Scientific Conference Programs, Council for High Blood Pressure Research, American Heart Association); the efforts of abstract reviewers, session chairs, and poster judges; and, most importantly, the participation of all of the new investigators. The ISH New Investigator Committee thanks all of the participants and looks forward to the next symposium to be held in conjunction with the ISH biennial meeting in Sydney 2012.
New investigators attending the session gave positive feedback about the symposium and suggested that future events that highlight research in hypertension at the trainee level should be encouraged as a regular feature at such scientific sessions. To encourage new investigators in hypertension research and to further develop this important initiative at future scientific conferences, the committee welcomes the support and assistance of national and international affiliated organizations.
Sources of Funding
The International Society of Hypertension, the Council for High Blood Pressure Research of the American Heart Association, and the InterAmerican Society of Hypertension.
The opinions expressed in this editorial are not necessarily those of the editors or of the American Heart Association.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.