Exercise helps keep the heart healthy, but could it help teach us how to treat cardiac disease?

That’s the question leading cardiologist Anthony Rosenzweig will address as he opens the ninth annual Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute Maury Strauss Distinguished Public Lecture Series at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4.

Anthony Rosenzweig, the chief of cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, co-director of the Corrigan Minehan Center, and the Paul Dudley White Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, will review how exercise protects the heart in his talk titled, “Can Exercise Teach Us to Treat Heart Failure?” He’ll also discuss how the cardiac pathways might offer potential targets for drug treatments to heal heart disease, or prevent it in the first place.

Heart disease is responsible for one out of every four deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Rosenzweig’s research program is dedicated to understanding why the heart becomes diseased and fails. He studies how exercise might be able to help the heart stay healthy, even as the cells age.

“Dr. Rosenzweig is a prominent cardiologist with a highly successful and impactful record translating basic research discoveries into medical practice,” said Michael Friedlander, the executive director of the VTCRI and Virginia Tech’s vice president for health sciences and technology. “He is a co-inventor on multiple novel approaches to cardiovascular diagnoses and therapies currently licensed or in clinical trials.”

Rosenzweig is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Association of Physicians. He previously served as an associate editor of the New England Journal of Medicine. He also has been director of the Program in Cardiovascular Gene Therapy at Massachusetts General Hospital, a trustee of the Harvard Clinical Research Institute, and director of cardiovascular research and associate chief of cardiology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Rosenzweig is also a recipient of the Roman W. DeSanctis Clinical Scholar Award and an Established Investigator Award from the American Heart Association.

Rosenzweig’s lecture is the first in series since it was renamed. Maury L. Strauss, a Roanoke businessman and a longtime community benefactor, made a $1 million gift to VTCRI to support the series, which brings renowned researchers from around the world to Roanoke to share their work with the public.

“Roanoke has been my home since 1937,” said Strauss, the founder of the Strauss Development Corp., a real estate development firm. “I love the community and I made my living here, so I decided it was time to give back. I’ve always been impressed with the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. It is a driving force, bringing these wonderful scientists to Roanoke and boosting the economy.”

The VTCRI Maury Strauss Distinguished Public Lecture Series is free and open to the public. A brief reception will precede each lecture.

Additional upcoming speakers include:

>>Peter Rosenbaum, the Canada Research Chair in Childhood Disability and co-founder of the CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research at McMaster University, who will discuss “Disability in the 21st Century: What Are We Thinking, Talking, and Doing About It?” on Nov. 15, 2018.

>>Carla Shatz, the director of Bio-X and Saap Family Provostial Professor at Stanford University, who will discuss “Synapses Lost and Found: Developmental Critical Periods and Alzheimer’s Disease” on Nov. 29, 2018.

 >>Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, the Mikati Foundation Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University, who will discuss “Engineering Human Tissues for Medical Impact” on Dec. 13, 2018.

>>Martha Farah, the Walter H. Annenberg Professor in Natural Sciences and the director of the Center for Neuroscience & Society at the University of Pennsylvania, who will discuss “Socioeconomic Status and Brain Development: From Science to Policy” on Jan. 24, 2019.

>>Eric Ravussin, the Boyd Professor, the associate executive director for Clinical Sciences, the Douglas L. Gordon Chair in Diabetes and Metabolism, and the director of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University, who will discuss “Effects of Caloric Restriction on Aging and Longevity” on Jan. 31, 2019. This talk is co-sponsored by the VTCRI Center for Transformative Research on Health Behaviors.

>>Jeffrey Sachs, the Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development at Columbia University and the special advisor to the United Nations Secretary General on the Millennium Development Goals, who will discuss “The Age of Sustainable Development” on Feb. 21, 2019.

>>W. Kimryn Rathmell, the Cornelius A. Craig Professor and the director of the division of hematology and oncology in the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center at the Vanderbilt University Cancer Center, who will discuss “Molecular Studies in Renal Cell Carcinoma” on Feb. 28, 2019.

>>Georges C. Benjamin, the executive director of the American Public Health Association, who will discuss “Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of Academic Research Communities” on March 28, 2019.

>>Susan Hockfield, the president emerita and the professor of neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who will discuss “The Age of Living Machines: How the Convergence of Biology and Engineering Will Build the Next Technology Revolution” on April 18, 2019.

>>Marilyn Carroll, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota, who will discuss “Understanding, Treating, and Preventing Addiction: What Would Animals Do?” on April 25, 2019.

>>Steven Hyman, the director of the Stanley Center for Psychiatry Research at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University and the Distinguished Service Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University, who will discuss “Revitalizing Translational Psychiatry” on May 23, 2019.

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