Voelcker Academy

Research Symposium 2010


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Andres Legarreta

MicroRNA Expression in Cardiac Tissue from Baboon Fetuses Exposed to Maternal Obesity

Andres Legarreta

Mentor: Dr. Alina Maloyan

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the world’s largest killer, claiming 17.1 million lives a year. According to estimates of the American Heart Association, in 2006, more than 80,000,000 people in the United States had one or more forms of CVD. The exposure of a fetus to an inappropriate environment increases its susceptibility to diseases such as heart failure and hypertension in adult life through processes known as developmental programming. Challenges today in the management of developmental programming include a search for unique biomarkers that are reflective or predictive of cardiovascular health and disease. Small animal models often are used to test the mechanism underlying the developmental programming because of their short gestation period and lifespan and the inexpensive costs to purchase and care for them. Our hypothesis states that miRNA may be involved in the establishment of developmental programming.