Aashish Manglik, a student at Sanford University School of Medicine, is among current top scoring research awardees in the Western States Affiliate. This early connection with the American Heart Association (AHA) reflects the experience of many established research scientists, who credit funding from the association with helping to set their career path.
Manglik, 24, explains that work done under his AHA Pre-Doctoral Fellowship “will give me the ability to use cutting edge biophysical techniques in my future career as an independent investigator.” He is a M.D./Ph.D. student in the Medical Scientist Training Program, working in the laboratory of Brian Kobilka, M.D., in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology. Their work focuses on how G-protein coupled receptors, which are protein targets of a large number of pharmaceutical drugs, work. And, it will help determine how new drugs with minimal side effects can be developed, leading to better therapeutic outcomes.
Born in India, Manglik came to the U.S. with his parents at the age of eight and grew up in Des Moines, Iowa. His father is an internist, so he developed an interest in medicine at a young age. “I had the opportunity to pursue research in a laboratory setting as a high school senior at the Iowa Cancer Research Foundation,” he says. “The experience allowed me to see how tenacity at the laboratory bench results in real-world changes for patients, and I've been hooked since then.”
He adds, “The American Heart Association’s commitment to both basic and clinical science is encouraging to me as a future physician-scientist. I look forward to leveraging this broad commitment within the association's research program as I try to understand important aspects of cardiovascular medicine both from a clinical and bench-side perspective.”