DAPM 2024 Research Retreat

DAPM Research Retreat 2024

By Megan Lebre, M.Ed.

On a cool morning in February, the Division of Molecular Medicine of the UCLA Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine (DAPM) gathered at the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica for its 2024 Research Retreat. Sixty members of the department attended the full-day retreat.  

The event opened with breakfast and a welcome message from Tom Vondriska, PhD, Vice Chair for Research. Dr. Vondriska reflected on the successes and challenges of the past few years and shared his excitement for the opportunity to engage with each other’s research and connect outside of the lab. 

Dr. Vondriska then introduced the Plenary Speaker, Baljit Khakh, PhD, Professor of Physiology and Professor of Neurobiology at UCLA. Dr. Khakh gave a riveting talk entitled “Cells That Tile Your Brain: Astrocytic function and dysfunction in the CNS” that set the tone for a day full of learning. 

Next, Alexandre Joosten, MD, PhD, moderated the following talks:

·       Bhaswati Roy, PhD: “Variable blood flow and tissue changes in left and right single ventricle heart disease”

·       Flora D’Oliveira Da Silva, PhD: “Dissecting the accumbal dynorphinergic outputs underlying affective pain” 

·       Lejla Medzikovic, PhD: “Integrative Multiomics in the Lung Reveal a Protective Role of Asporin in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension”

·       Jae Woo Lee, MD: “Targeting Extracellular Vesicles in Bacterial Pneumonia”

·       Kyle Scranton, BS: “Revisiting the Mechanism of Action of Digitalis” 

·       Somanshu Banerjee, PhD: “Molecular dissection of right ventricular remodeling in pulmonary hypertension-induced right heart failure”  

After the morning session, participants broke out into groups to enjoy lunch in the sunshine and explore 20 entries for the Poster Session. The afternoon lineup included two talks moderated by Matthew Fischer, MD, MS:

·       Natalie Gehred, BS: “Histone H1.0 Couples Cellular Mechanical Behaviors to Chromatin Structure” 

·       Marina Angelini, PhD: “The Voltage Sensors that Govern Cav1.1 Channel Opening and Skeletal Muscle Contraction”

To conclude the day, Maxime Cannesson, MD, PhD, DAPM Professor and Chair, shared a captivating lecture entitled, “AI and Autonomous Systems for Applied Physiology.” As the sun began to set over the ocean, colleagues enjoyed networking time and reflected on a day well spent building connections and learning from each other.