Graduate Student Named National Hispanic Latino Cardiovascular Collaborative Scholar
Ana Lopez Medina, PharmD’22, fourth-year clinical pharmacy translational science PhD candidate, has been named a National Hispanic Latino Cardiovascular Collaborative (NHLCC) Scholar. Established within the American Heart Association (AHA), the NHLCC aims to provide opportunities for the next generation of health care professionals of Hispanic Latino descent and those serving the Hispanic Latino communities in the overall mission to be a relentless force for longer, healthier lives.
According to NHLCC, it is critical to engage health professions students and early-career investigators in networking, mentorship, and sponsorship opportunities to grow and diversify the future healthcare workforce. To that end, the NHLCC recently launched its Scholars mentoring program centered around AHA’s annual Scientific Sessions conference. Dr. Lopez Medina will attend the event in November in Chicago, where she will be matched with a mentor who shares her interests.
After completing her BS in Biology at University of Havana, Dr. Lopez Medina conducted research under the mentorship of Dr. Julio Alvarez Gonzalez, studying biophysics of ionic channels in cardiac cells. During that time, she developed and collaborated in several research projects in cardiovascular pharmacology of anti-inflammatory drugs, flavonoids, and cardiac arrhythmias.
In 2015, Dr. Lopez Medina moved to the US and worked in an outpatient center as a clinical research coordinator, conducting clinical trials for different biopharmaceuticals. In 2018, Dr. Lopez Medina started the PharmD program at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy. A year later, she joined the dual PharmD/PhD degree program with Dr. Jasmine Luzum’s Lab, studying genetics of drug-induced long QT syndrome (diLQTS), an adverse effect of over 150 FDA-approved drugs.
“As an NHLCC Scholar, I hope to expand my professional network, create new opportunities for research collaborations as well as increase my understanding of the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease outcomes and risk factors in the Hispanic community,” explains Dr. Lopez Medina.
“Right now, more than a career goal, it is my mission as a first-generation Latino researcher to dedicate my knowledge and expertise to improving Hispanic/Latino health in the USA,” says Dr. Lopez Medina. “Especially regarding cardiovascular diseases, such as cardiac arrhythmias, which are known to affect disproportionately underrepresented groups.”