LOUISVILLE, Ky. – For the next two years, Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D., will have significant influence over the funding of certain types of scientific research as he leads a panel that considers grant applications to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Bhatnagar, the Smith and Lucille Gibson Chair in Medicine at the University of Louisville, will serve as chair of the 15-member Clinical and Integrative Cardiovascular Science Study Section, a part of the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) that evaluates grant requests for patient-oriented research involving the cardiovascular system and related regulatory organ systems.
Bhatnagar is the director of the UofL Diabetes and Obesity Center, where he leads a group of 30 investigators focused on developing a better understanding of the cardiovascular complications of diabetes. His research focuses on the mechanisms by which oxidative stress affects cardiovascular function.
“Aruni Bhatnagar’s recognition by the NIH reflects the quality of research at the University of Louisville. Having him participate as the chair of this NIH study section elevates our programs even further on the national scale and emphasizes the importance of his work in the larger scientific community,” said David L. Dunn, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for health affairs at UofL.
Members of the CSR study sections are selected based on their achievements in their scientific disciplines, demonstrated by their research accomplishments, publications and other activities. The study section chair is in place for a two-year term. Bhatnagar’s term began July 1, 2015 and runs through June 2017.
Bhatnagar says serving as a study section chair is both an honor and a responsibility.
“Being appointed as a chair of a study section is a clear recognition of the leadership role of a scientist, both in conducting research as well as in contributing to the discussion of specific research ideas and projects,” Bhatnagar said. “With a diminishing NIH budget, it is becoming increasingly important that only the best science is funded and that the new, untested ideas that have high potential are not subsumed by a process that favors the status quo and is reluctant to support innovative research.”