September 24, 2004

Vanderbilt’s Heart Walk goal $225,000 this year

Featured Image

Martin Egli, Ph.D., and colleagues including Carl H. Johnson, Ph.D., recently solved the structure (shown on screen) of a biological clock protein in a blue-green algae. Photo by Daniel Dubois

Vanderbilt’s Heart Walk goal $225,000 this year

Nearly $1 million was raised during the American Heart Association’s annual Heart Walk at Vanderbilt last year. Vanderbilt teams raised $200,000 through the nation’s premier walking and fundraising event. This year’s goal is $225,000.

Vanderbilt’s fundraising levels and participation in the annual walk has increased steadily, which is why it has been ranked among the top three walks nationwide, surpassed only by Seattle and Detroit.

In more than 1,000 cities across the country, thousands of participants walk to help raise money to fight heart disease and stroke as well as provide funding for public and professional education and community service programs. Much of that money raised supports heart disease and stroke research being done here by Vanderbilt University Medical Center investigators.

Vanderbilt is the second largest funding recipient of AHA research monies in the country with 29 awards totaling nearly $4 million.

“We have several investigators at VUMC receiving funding from the AHA,” said Scott Baldwin, M.D., Katrina Overall McDonald Professor of Pediatrics and professor of Cell and Developmental Biology. “In our region, we are one of the major recipients of those funds. And that amount we receive increases each year.

“AHA funding allowed me to get my laboratory started and help jump start my investigative career,” said Baldwin, vice chair of Laboratory Sciences in Pediatrics.

Baldwin applauds the AHA for its focus on young investigators because competition for funding is very tough and it gives them a chance to establish labs and set up studies and research programs without worrying about competing against more experienced investigators.

“It’s really a big boost for young physicians and if they get funded early they can establish themselves and begin submitting grants to the NIH,” he said.

AHA helps fund Vanderbilt’s research on prevention of heart attacks, understanding congenital heart disease and most recently looking at how obesity affects the heart.

Baldwin serves as president of the board for the Nashville American Heart Association and is serving on the review committee for grants.

The American Heart Walk will be held Sunday, Oct. 10. Festivities begin at noon with face painting, games and activities. Registration is at 1 p.m. and the walk starts at 2 p.m.

The last team captain luncheon is Thursday, Oct. 7 in the First Tennessee Conference Theater in VCH, room 2210. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Team captains can turn in money and collect a team T-shirt between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at this same location.