The John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health is one of Amazon’s charity partners. The Amazon smile program allows Amazon customers to choose a charity that will receive 0.5% of the total price on all eligible purchases. You can go to smile.amazon.com to shop and choose The John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health from the drop down menu of charities or use this link to shop on Amazon to donate to the JRF.

The Milewicz group is dedicated to research focused on improving vascular and aortic health. Recent publications from Dr. Milewicz and her colleagues led to an invitation to be “Lab of the Month” from the North American Vascular Biology Organization (NAVBO). Read more about them here.

A multi-institutional team led by Dianna Milewicz, M.D., Ph.D., of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) has found a recurrent genetic mutation that has been linked to deadly thoracic aortic dissections in family members as young as 17 years of age.  The gene known as PRKG1 makes a protein called cGMP-dependent kinase, type I.  The PRKG1 mutation alters the function of the protein and causes the muscle cells in the wall of the aorta to respond incorrectly to pulsatile blood flow from the heart, and the change in this one protein ultimately causes thoracic aortic aneurysm and acute aortic dissection.  The mutation was identified in four families, including three in the United States.  The majority of the affected family members suffered acute aortic dissections at young ages (17 to 51 years).

Milewicz is professor and director of the Division of Genetics at the UTHealth Medical School and holds the President George H.W. Bush Chair in Cardiovascular Research.  She is also on the faculty of The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and director of the The John Ritter Research Program in Aortic and Vascular Diseases.  Co-authors and investigators included teams from University of California at San Diego, Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicále of France, University of Washington, Baylor College of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and the GenTAC Registry Consortium.  Read more here:  http://www.johnritterresearchprogram.org/?p=1046

Dianna M. Milewicz, MD, PhD, Director of the John Ritter Research Program in Aortic and Vascular Diseases and holder of the President George H.W. Bush Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, will be honored on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 by BioHouston at its Fourth Annual Lunch Celebrating Women in Science.

To be held at the River Oaks Country Club in Houston, TX, the luncheon also will honor Dr. Lydia Kavraki, Rice University; Dr. Renu Khator, University of Houston; and Sara Ortwein, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company.

The four will be celebrated for demonstrating “extraordinary leadership in science and technology.”

The mission of BioHouston is to “create an environment that will stimulate technology transfer and research commercialization, thereby generating economic wealth for the Houston region and making it a global competitor in life science commercialization.”

Registration deadline is Friday, November 9 at 3:00 p.m. Central time.

Congratulations, Dr. Milewicz!