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by Hannah Buckelew
The American Heart Association’s annual Scientific Sessions meeting held in Philadelphia, November 11-13, saw representation from faculty and students from the Department of Biomedical Engineering this year.

Jianyi “Jay” Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., T. Michael and Gillian Goodrich Endowed Chair of Engineering Leadership, UAB BME, attended the event as Chair of the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences. Zhang presented, “Promising Applications of modRNA in Injured Hearts of Large Mammals” in the Cardiovascular Seminar, “Advances in Cardiac Engineering and Repair” moderated by Yajing Wang, M.D., Ph.D., FAHA, Vice Chair of Research, Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Director, Basic and Translational Research.

Zhang moderated the Melvin L. Marcus Early Career Investigator Award in Cardiovascular Sciences Competition and the George E. Brown Memorial Lecture. Both Zhang and Wang participated in the Chinese American Heart Association (CNAAHA)/Academy of Cardiovascular Research Excellence (ACRE)/Chinese American Academy of Cardiology (CAAC) Joint Research Symposium and Philly Night on Friday, November 10.

Students in the laboratory of Dr. Jay Zhang presented posters and delivered oral presentations across a broad spectrum of topics in the field.

Bijay Guragain, M.S., presented the poster, titled, “Engineered Tissue Graft Electrically Couples with Swine Host Heart” at the session, “Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathies” on November 12. Akazha Green presented the poster, titled, “Stem/Progenitor Cells in Cardiovascular Function and Therapeutic Targeting” and Thanh Nguyen, Ph.D., presented the poster, titled, “Identifying Cardiomyocytes at Specific Cell-Cycle Stages by a New Cell-Cycle-Specific snRNAseq Analytic Method” at the session, “Tissue and Single Cell Transcriptomics” on November 13.

Jiacheng “Jason” Sun, M.D., delivered the oral presentation, titled, “CCND2 Modified mRNA Activates the Cell Cycle in Cardiomyocytes and Improves Recovery from Myocardial Infarction in Small and Large Mammals” and Yuhua Wei, M.S., delivered the oral presentation, “Cyclin D2 Overexpressing and Hypoimmunogenic Cardiomyocyte Spheroid Transplantation Induced Engogenous Myocardial Regeneration in the Pig Heart After Myocardial Infarction” in the session, “Spotlight on Tissue Engineering and Cardiac Repair” on November 13.

Department members look forward to attending the 2024 AHA Scientific Sessions in Chicago next year.