Second year veterinary student at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Cecilia Montes attended the Merial-NIH National Veterinary Scholars Symposium located in Athens, Georgia where she was named a winner in the research poster competition.
This past August, veterinary medical students from all over the United States and Canada met to present their research findings and network with peers, veterinarians, scientists, researchers and faculty members. The meeting was hosted by the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.
Over 300 posters were presented, but only around a dozen awards were given out with Montes taking home one of them.
“I worked in the laboratory of Dr. Cristine Heaps this summer, and winning this award was the icing on the cake!” said Montes.
The poster that Montes submitted was entitled “Contribution of ETA receptor to the exercise training-enhanced ET-1-mediated constriction of collateral-dependent coronary arteries” and displayed the research she worked on this summer with other authors Juan Carlos Robles (graduate assistant research), Jeff F. Bray( laboratory technician) , Mildred L. Mattox (associate research specialist), and Dr. Cristine Heaps (associate professor at the CVM).
Montes participated in the Veterinary Student Research Fellows Program this summer under the direction of Heaps.
“I really enjoyed participating in the fellowship and I feel like I learned so much this summer about research, especially for someone who had never actually participated in research at all prior to this summer,” said Montes.
Heaps’ lab is currently looking at the effects of exercise training on collateral-dependent coronary arteries in pigs.
“Previous studies have shown that collateral-dependent arteries of exercise-trained pigs have an increased contractile response to endothelin-1 (ET-1) and the goal of this project was to assess the contribution of ETA receptors to this adaptation,” said Montes.
“Cecilia was a wonderful addition to our laboratory as part of the Veterinary Medical Student Research Training Program,” said Heaps, “she approached this learning experience with great enthusiasm and dedication and through the intensive nature of this 12-week program, Cecilia acquired a great deal of insight into hypothesis-driven research and the scientific approach.”
Heaps further explained that the Fellows Program experience was mutually beneficial because Montes, who collaborated with the laboratory staff and students, performed a great deal of experimental troubleshooting as well as initiating data collection on studies that the team will continue to pursue.