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DREAM Innovation Grant (DIG) 2016 RECIPIENTS Background


Interface of Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Inflammation in Heterotopic Mouse Heart Transplant These studies will continue to investigate the impact of impaired mitochondrial function on primary graft dysfunction and consequent immune activation. Specific investigations into the interaction of mitochondrial function and oxidative stress with inflammatory injury also apply to patients with ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury (i.e. myocardial infarction). Mechanistic insights will support new interventions to prevent organ graft dysfunction and I/R injury, as well as promote recovery. Dr. Cherry says she is profoundly grateful to the donors who support the DREAM Innovation Grants for their sponsorship in developing a promising avenue of investigation. She is enthusiastic about continuing this work in collaboration with her colleagues in the Department of Surgery. DIG funding has supported the initial characterization of their model as it applies to heart transplant dysfunction, the application of novel tools (echocardiographic strain) for more sensitive quantification of dysfunction, and generation of preliminary data on the effects of mitochondrial regulatory defects on transplanted hearts. Data from these initial studies will help to justify extramural support for further studies and, ultimately, to facilitate improved treatments for patients in Duke’s cardiac operating rooms and ICUs.

What is the “DIG?” The DREAM Innovation Grant (DIG) supports innovative high-risk and potentially highreward investigations to accelerate anesthesia and pain management research. Funding provided by DIG will support each researcher for one year, during which pilot studies can be conducted. DIG recipients can receive up to $25,500 in seed money for their innovative pilot studies, which ultimately helps them apply for and obtain extramural funding. This grant creates an avenue for healthy competition among faculty, inspires ingenuity, promotes the careers of young physician investigators, enhances donor communication, and furthers the department’s academic mission.




To-date, $542,900 in DIG donations have led to...



• Grew up in Iowa on the south shore of Clear Lake. • Graduated with a B.S. in physics and a minor in chemistry from the University of Iowa. • Awarded the James Van Allen Award for an outstanding senior physics student. • Received her M.D. from Duke University School of Medicine. • Mentored by Dr. Richard Moon in Duke’s hyperbaric chamber where she helped run a study of hemodynamics in exercising divers at simulated depth. • Offered a position in the Academic Careers Enrichment Scholars (ACES) Program. • Completed her residency at Duke Anesthesiology. • Pursued research with Dr. Claude Piantadosi (Duke Department of Medicine, Pulmonary Division) where she learned the most fundamental principles of mitochondrial function in disease states and how to assess the underlying mechanisms. • Spent a year as chief Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology fellow. • Joined Duke Anesthesiology faculty as an assistant professor in the Cardiothoracic Anesthesia Division where she continues to work with Dr. Piantadosi studying mitochondrial quality control in disease to address the contribution of mitochondrial function to cardiac dysfunction after heart transplant; problems that she and her colleagues see in their cardiac operating rooms on a daily basis.

DREAM Innovation Grants are funded by: Private donors Private companies


Alumni Faculty Executive Board members

2016 BluePrint  
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