Our mission is to become a worldwide reference for education in the field for all professionals involved in the process to disseminate knowledge & skills of Acute Cardiovascular Care.
Our mission is to promote excellence in clinical diagnosis, research, technical development, and education in cardiovascular imaging in Europe.
Our mission is to promote excellence in research, practice, education and policy in cardiovascular health, primary and secondary prevention.
Our mission is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease through percutaneous cardiovascular interventions.
Improving the quality of life and reducing sudden cardiac death by limiting the impact of heart rhythm disturbances.
Our mission is to improve quality of life and longevity, through better prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart failure, including the establishment of networks for its management, education and research.
The ESC Working Groups' goal is to stimulate and disseminate scientific knowledge in different fields of cardiology.
The ESC Councils' goal is to share knowledge among medical professionals practising in specific cardiology domains.
OUR MISSION: TO REDUCE THE BURDEN OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE
Presenters at a Young Investigators Award session yesterday were inspired by the presence of Nobel Prize laureate Elizabeth Blackburn. She was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering the molecular nature of telomeres (the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes that serve as protective caps) and the enzyme telomerase. ‘Telomeres are intertwined with cardiovascular disease,’ Blackburn told ESC Congress News - short telomere length with CVD mortality, CVD risk factors and cardiomyopathy.
However, while long telomeres are undoubtedly good for CVD risk, they don’t seem to be uniformly good in cancer, ‘since they give cells permission to go on multiplying,’ explained Blackburn, from the University of California, San Francisco.
Telomere length also appears to interact with a range of other factors. One observational study in patients with bladder cancer showed that those with both short telomeres and high levels of depression had higher risks of mortality than those with either short telomeres or high levels of depression alone. ‘So in future the name of the game will be precision medicine, where we integrate different information to see how it comes together for each individual,’ she predicted.
It was as a post doc in Joe Gall’s lab at Yale that Blackburn was introduced to Tetrahymena, a ciliated protozoan which eventually lay the foundations for her work in telomeres. ‘Tetrahymena are literally pond scum and have thousands of tiny, short, linear chromosomes that are readily accessible,’ she explained. She decided to focus on what happened at the ends of these mini chromosomes, and found that telomeres consisted of a repetitive sequence of six DNA units (TTAGGG), which could vary from 20 units in some Tetrahymena, up to 70 in others.
She hypothesised that the new telomeres were not copied from existing DNA, but were created de novo during cell division through enzymatic action. With her PhD student Carol Greider (with whom she shared the Nobel Prize, together with Jack Szostak), Blackburn broke open the Tetrahymena cells and was able to visualise the enzyme’s action on gels. They established that this novel enzyme activity was not an artefact and named it telomerase.
Blackburn’s advice to young investigators is to focus ‘for concentrated patches’ on their work. ‘While you can take time off for part of the year there are periods when you need to engross yourself totally in the science, because such complete immersion facilitates thinking,’ she said.
Although successful scientists need to be able to persist, there is a real skill in knowing when to let go. With such challenges peer group support is vitally important: ‘Usually your family won’t have any idea what you’re trying to achieve. You need advice from other people in your lab, institution and wider research field who understand what you are going after.’
About the European Society of CardiologyThe European Society of Cardiology (ESC) represents more than 90 000 cardiology professionals across Europe and worldwide. Its mission is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in Europe. About ESC Congress 2015ESC Congress is the world’s largest and most influential cardiovascular event contributing to global awareness of the latest clinical trials and breakthrough discoveries. ESC Congress 2015 takes place 29 August to 2 September at ExCel London in London, UK. Access the scientific programme. To access all the scientific resources from the sessions during the congress, visit ESC Congress 365.
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