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April 2011 - Congratulations to Tricia Lenhart who has been selected as the 2011 recipient of the Gertrude B. Elion Mentored Medical Student Award.
The Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF) and Triangle Community Foundation established this award in memory of Gertrude B. Elion, 1988 Nobel Laureate in Medicine and member of the Board of Directors of the BWF, to recognize Dr. Elion’s interest in fostering the research careers of students, and particularly women. The annual $10,000 award supports women medical students who are interested in pursuing health-related research projects.
Tricia is an MD/PhD student whose studies in the lab of Dr. Kathleen Caron focus on the cardioprotective effects of estrogen. The high prevalence of cardiovascular disease in women over the age of 50 compared to women before menopause strongly suggests that estrogen has a protective effect on the heart, but the basis for this cardioprotection is not well understood. In her studies, Tricia seeks to clarify how this protective mechanism may work, and aims to identify a novel sex-dependent cardioprotective pathway in heart muscle cells involving the proteins RAMP3 and GPER1 that may underlie some of the differences in cardiovascular disease in men and women.