Upstate News

April 28, 2010
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Two Upstate physicians receive prestigious American Medical Association research grants

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Two Upstate Medical University resident physicians, Shreyas Roy, M.D., and Keri Seymour D.O., have been awarded $2,500 from the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation’s Seed Grant Research Program to fund studies in lung disease and vascular disease in people with diabetes. Established in 2000, the program provides small grants to medical students, physician residents and fellows to conduct basic science or clinical research projects.

Roy and Seymour are two of only 38 individuals nationwide who received a seed grant this year.

A general surgery resident, Roy will use the funds to test pilot a surgically implantable device designed to prevent secondary lung injury from septic shock. Sepsis affects nearly 660,000 patients yearly, claiming the lives of nearly 1 in 5 afflicted people. One of the most frequent causes of mortality from sepsis is secondary lung injury in the form of acute respiratory distress syndrome. The device was designed by the research team in Upstate’s Critical Care and Cardiopulmonary Research Lab and is intended to prevent secondary lung injury from developing in the septic patient.

Seymour, also a general surgery resident, is researching atherosclerosis, a vascular disease that is accelerated in patients with diabetes. The incidence of type 2 diabetes is dramatically increasing in the United States and the cost of diabetes to the nation’s health care system is estimated to exceed $200 billion by the year 2020.

Development of atherosclerotic plaque involves arterial injury and growth of smooth muscle cells in the wall of the artery. Seymour will use the funds to investigate the role of proteins in the extracellular matrix, ex.

Thrombspondin-1 in contributing to the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells in response to increased glucose and increased cholesterol. She will further study the effectiveness of new therapies to slow this process.

“Research dollars are becoming scarce, and for younger scientists new to the field, they’re even harder to find,” said AMA Foundation President Richard Hovland. “The AMA Foundation is committed to supporting the discoveries and professional development of physicians at the start of their careers.”

The Seed Grant Research Program was created to encourage more physicians to consider research as a career option. Many recipients go on to publish their work, present at scientific meetings, or even secure larger grants.

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