The New Investigator Award
New Investigator Awards go to outstanding UNMC scientists who in the past two years have secured their first funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense or other national sources. New Investigators also had to demonstrate scholarly activity such as publishing their research and/or presenting their findings at national conventions.
- Name: Wanfen Xiong, M.D. Ph.D.
- Title: Associate professor, UNMC Department of Surgery, College of Medicine
- Joined UNMC: 2000
- Hometown: Nanchang, China
The goal of my research is:
Aortic aneurysm and dissection are the most deadly manifestations of Marfan syndrome. Currently, there is no effective medical therapy for aortic aneurysm. Surgical repair is the only treatment choice. My research goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying early aneurysm development in Marfan syndrome and develop effective strategies to prevent aneurysm formation.
My research will make a difference because:
Aortic aneurysm and dissection are the 13th leading cause of death in Western countries. Since there is no effective medical treatment for aortic aneurysm, regular checkups and echocardiograms are essential for evaluating the size of the aorta. When the aorta reaches a size that puts it at high risk for rupture, surgical repair is necessary. Usually, the aortic dilatation is observed for years prior to intervention. Therefore, the economic impact of serial imaging and surgical treatment of aortic aneurysm is enormous. Our study will identify early cell phenotype switch conferring aneurysm and develop therapeutic strategies to target the early development of aneurysm formation in Marfan syndrome.
The best advice I've ever been given is:
My father used to encourage me with a Chinese proverb: "Do not be afraid of a long road to success, only be afraid of a shortage of ambition."
Three things you may not know about me
- My hometown is famous for porcelain. It has been called the Capital of Porcelain since ancient China.
- I love to work out at home. I like to try online aerobics and yoga programs.
- I lived in a small village for most of my childhood. It gave me a beautiful memory.
Wanfen Xiong! You are so beautiful! I am not a scientidic worker, but I admire you!!! (Olga, Novosibirsk)