Capital Region’s first Research Reception provides insight into the science behind the giving

From left, Drs. Ben Boivin, Bijan Dey and Leo Wan discuss their work at the American Heart Association Research Reception at the RNA Institute on Nov. 15.

Stents. CPR. Clot-busting drugs. Those are just a few of the scientific advancements that were begun with research grants from the American Heart Association.

On Friday, Nov. 15, four researchers funded by the American Heart Association shared a little bit about their projects, and offered a tour of the RNA Institute, where the Research Reception was held.

“The American Heart Association works every day to improve the lives of everyone in the Capital Region. The research they fund means that local institutions and their researchers are at work improving the future for people affected by heart disease and stroke, or finding ways to prevent it,” said Alan Boulos, M.D., chair of the department of neurosurgery at Albany Med and president-elect of the Capital Region Advisory Board of the American Heart Association. “Albany Med is also committed to improving the health of Capital Region residents. Since 1984, the Heart Association has funded 108 research grants at Albany Med. We are proud to have done work that has led to improved lives for individual people and their families.”

Dr. Peter Vincent of Albany Med explains his work during the Research Reception on Nov. 15.

The researchers who shared their work at the reception were:

  • Bijan Dey, Ph.D.,  of the University at Albany’s RNA Institute. Dr. Dey is studying muscular dystrophy and associated cardiomyopathy.
  • Peter Vincent, Ph.D., of Albany Med, who explained about how Albany Med uses AHA research funding.
  • Leo Wan, Ph.D., of RPI. Dr. Wan’s research focuses on understanding physical biology in tissue development and regeneration.
  • Ben Boivin, Ph.D., of SUNY Polytechnic. Dr. Boivin is working on deciphering signal transduction events that contribute to cardiac hypertrophy, and developing novel approaches to activate enzymes that remove phosphoryl groups, phosphatases, with the aim to prevent aberrant signal transduction in cardiac hypertrophy and cancers.
Representatives from American National present a check to AHA-funded researchers at the American Heart Association’s Research Reception on Nov. 15.

American National, formerly Farm Family Insurance, donated $83,290.86 to the American Heart Association. This was the final disbursement of a trust crated to honor Life Specialist Clarence Shepard after he died of a heart attack in 1970. Much of that money will fund research.

Since 1971, the American Heart Association has funded more than $20 million in research grants in the Capital Region. Currently, the Heart Association is funding nine projects at a total of $1.6 million. Since 1949, the American Heart Association has funded $4.5 billion in research across the nation and worldwide. This is second only to the federal government. In the U.S. this year, the Heart Association is funding $188.7 million in research. We are known for investing in early researchers, setting the foundation for future scientific findings. 14 Nobel Prize winners once had AHA grants.

The Heart Association’s  research benefits millions of lives in every community and in every nation, and is translated into guidelines to provide the best, most updated care.








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