What I love about #BlackInCardioWeek so far is how diverse and interdisciplinary it has been in terms of what we are all doing to contribute to the field 🤩
The reality is that cardiovascular health requires the collaboration between research, public health, epidemiology, clinical expertise and scientific communication in order to ensure the overall improvement in the education of cardiovascular health #BlackInCardioWeek
A common theme that has resonated with me from the live sessions so far there will be a personal motivation as to why you have decided to pursue contributing to the advancement of cardiovascular science #BlackInCardioWeek
So why did I enter into cardiovascular research? 👀
Well I fell in love with cardiovascular pharmacology during my BSc and was intrigued about the pathophysiology of various CVDs such as heart failure, atherosclerosis, hypertension, myocardial ischaemia and arrhythmias
Obesity is one of the main risk factors of cardiovascular disease and it usually arises when there is an imbalance between the calories consumed and calories expended especially the excessive consumption of high fat food.
Where did my passion for the Cardiovascular system begin?
Well Diabetes was never taboo in my family. However observing the different ways it was treated, the perception of it within and outside of my community proved the necessity for scientists who understood the community.
I always enjoyed learning about the heart but my passion really began in my Physiology undergrad @UofGlasgow. Learning about its complexity in nature from molecular to organ function, and the various diseases associated showed me that there was a lot of work to be done.
Heart failure is complex! The diabetic heart varies in many ways and as I go through my research and unlock the many differences, the urgency of the work is consistently revealed to me.
Let's talk about COVID-19 and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Remember what I said about Black people having higher rates of CVD/cardiometabolic diseases (hypertension, stroke, diabetes...). These diseases are or might be risk factors for severe COVID-19. bit.ly/39S5Qgl
On top of that, Black people are more exposed to the disease (first responders, taking the bus, precarious housing situations that make it hard to social distance, etc.). All of these issues are direct consequences of disparities in income/housing segregation (see redlining)...
COVID-19 also [often] leads to a coagulopathy (or abnormal blood coagulation) that both increases blood clots and inflammation. I am sure you've heard of the COVID-19 cytokine storm. The level of coagulopathy corresponds to the severity of COVID-19.
Few studies, in the US, have an adequate number of Black participants. I'm lucky to work for one. The REGARDS study (REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke) is one of the largest and most diverse cohort studies in the US (bit.ly/3ocjIJ1)
Between 2003-2007, the REGARDS study enrolled more than 30K participants all over the US (especially the Southeastern Stroke Belt region of the US). A lot of what we know about racial disparities in stroke and other cardiovascular diseases come from the REGARDS.
Happy Friday! I'm @MeredithSchmehl and I want to take a quick break from #SciComm to tell you more about my lab's research! Members of my lab discovered that when your eyes move, your eardrums move too. Curious? Read on! 1/13
Let's take a step back. Earlier in the week, I told you about how I study the brain. But there's another part of my lab that studies the ear! They're looking at the relationship between the ears and eyes to figure out how we locate things and make mental maps of space 2/13
They do this by putting tiny microphones in people's ears - kind of like earbuds! But instead of playing music, the earbuds actually record what's happening inside the ear canal 3/13
Hi everyone! I hope you're all enjoying this week's discussions. Earlier today we talked about #SciComm strategies to communicate in writing and to edit others' work. Now we're going to talk about communicating with policymakers…#SciPol! 1/11
Many types of science clearly show the connection between science and society. Not only do scientists often require government funding for their research, but their work may also enhance treatments for diseases or inform relevant laws 2/11
I'm from the United States, where we elect representatives to make laws. But these representatives rarely have a scientific background, so they may not have the knowledge that's necessary to create science-based legislation 3/11
When I first ventured into science writing, I noticed that the techniques used in these articles are very different from academic writing like research papers. I realized I could learn these new skills by reading others' work during the writing process! 2/5
One great resource is the NPR Scicommers community led by @JoesBigIdea. Through this program, I've edited pieces of science writing during early stages of the writing process, and learned a lot by reading comments from real editors of news publications! 3/5
Happy Thursday! @MeredithSchmehl again! Yesterday we talked about outreach and how to get started. Today will be a busy day with discussions about other forms of #SciComm and #SciPol! Let's start with writing 1/9
Writing is a great way to share science with many types of audiences. Written communication is particularly well suited for targeting adults because it allows you to explain complex concepts in a narrative format 2/9
Since I started grad school, I've been writing about science for non-scientists. Here are some ways I've been exploring science writing: 3/9
I hope everyone is having a great day! I’m @MeredithSchmehl. Now that we've talked about what #outreach is, how I got started, and how it can be beneficial, let's talk about how you might get started if you're interested. #SciComm 1/7
If you're at an educational institution, check to see if there's already a group that does outreach in your area of interest. There may be a student group or a local chapter of a professional society in your field, which may already have outreach activities in place 3/7
Welcome back to @realscientists with @MeredithSchmehl! Thanks so much for the questions and comments over the past few days! Yesterday we talked about why #SciComm is important on a broad level. Today we're going to focus on #outreach in more detail: 1/10
Science #outreach is a form of informal education to help people learn about science outside of a classroom. It often involves fun activities or games to help demonstrate concepts 2/10
I discovered outreach as an undergrad at @CarnegieMellon, when I joined a neuroscience club at @cmuneurosci. I joined this club to meet my peers and learn more about my field, but I quickly realized that the group was heavily involved in outreach 3/10
Hi everyone! It's @MeredithSchmehl again, and I hope you enjoyed reading about #SciComm this morning! As I mentioned, I'm currently taking a #SciComm course. Today we talked about media interviews! Here are some key takeaways 1/6
First, although this course is for scientists and engineers, these tips can help anyone explain complex topics in any setting! Even non-scientists can use these tips when they're teaching something new or telling a complicated story 2/6
1. Know your message.
In situations like a media interview, you'll want to prepare in advance. What are your three main points? Practice explaining them, and don't be afraid to repeat them during the interview or other conversation. You want your message to be heard! 3/6
Happy Tuesday! It’s @MeredithSchmehl and today I'm going to switch gears to focus on science communication - #SciComm! SciComm is all about sharing science and improving access to science 1/10
There are many forms of #SciComm, including in-person outreach, writing, broadcast media, and #SciArt. Some people also place science policy (#SciPol) under the SciComm umbrella 2/10
I got my start in #SciComm as an undergraduate at @CarnegieMellon, where I was involved in community outreach with a student group. We'll talk more about outreach tomorrow, and by the end of the week we'll discuss several other forms of SciComm 3/10
#ParasitologyInRealLife for me often looks a lot like this, I spend a lot of time with our microscopes. I want to understand how whipworm eggs and the host gut bacteria interact. So I dissect a lot of guts and I look at many eggs 🪱🥚
I grew up on a small farm in the rural South, and the first time that I became truly fascinated with microbes was when mad cow disease (a.k.a. bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE) began to spread to humans (in the late 90s, I believe. (2/11)
We had about 30 head of cattle and my parents began to freak out and sold them all. They weren't sure how to describe the cause, but they knww it was some sort of infectious agent. I was both terrified and fascinated! (3/11)
I'd like to share an interesting and inspiring #BlackInMicrobiology fact that I'm willing to bet most of you haven't heard of! (1/8)
Arthur Kornberg was a Nobel Prize winner who was known for his work concerning the biosynthesis of DNA.
In 1953, he opened his very own lab and one of his first hires was the incredible Ernest (Ernie) Simms, an African American lab technician from St. Louis. (2/8)
Despite having little formal education, Simms became revered as an excellent scientist. He was an instrumental part of the research team that eventually isolated DNA polymerase I (for which Kornberg was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1959). (3/8)
Good Afternoon! This is Kishana, one of the co-leaders of Black in Micro, and I will be tweeting from the account today. Some of you might remember me from my time curating in February.
This week will have a number of the @BlackInMicro organizers tweeting from this account. The goal is to give voice to the people behind #BlackInMicro Week and let them convince you that you should be following along on our account and registering for the events this week.