Kajal Kamra

Kajal Kamra, Graduate Student of Distinction

Kajal Kamra

PhD Student in IGPBS Integrative Physiology & Molecular Medicine

American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship (2022-2023)

The American Heart Association (AHA) Predoctoral Fellowship program promotes the integrated research and clinical training of promising students in predoctoral or clinical health professional degree training programs and who intend careers as scientists, physician-scientists or other clinician-scientists, or related careers aimed at improving global cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and brain health.  Kajal Kamra was awarded a two-year AHA fellowship for her project, entitled “Novel mechanism of neural control of breathing in acute lung injury.”  This project will utilize integrative physiological strategies to explore a novel mechanism through lung spinal afferent nerves that may mediate breathing after acute lung injury (ALI). Moreover, because the occurrence and progression of ALI are heightened in patients with underlying pre-existing cardiovascular disease, she will also determine the role of pulmonary spinal afferent nerves in mediating respiratory abnormalities in the ALI animal model with and without pre-existing myocardial infarction. Identification and further understanding of this novel mechanism will provide important information for the long-term goal of developing novel targeted therapeutic approaches to improve clinical outcomes in cardio-pulmonary diseases. Kajal is pursuing her dissertation research in IGPBS Integrative Physiology & Molecular Medicine under the supervision of Hanjun Wang, MD, Associate Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology.