Travel Award for Outstanding Young Investigators


2017 Recipient: Fong Lam

"I am an assistant professor in Pediatrics/Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. I am originally from Houston and received my BA from Univeristy of Texas and MD from University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. My pediatrics and critical care medicine training was at the Baylor College of Medicine. I am currently a clinician-scientist interested in the pathophysiology and interplay of microvascular inflammation and thrombosis. I became interested in microvascular research during my critical care fellowship under the mentorship of Rolando Rumbaut, MD PhD. This stemmed from the clinical observation that patients with sepsis may still develop ongoing organ dysfunction despite normal systemic blood pressures. Clearly, the microcirculation was dysfunctional either through inflammation, thrombosis, or both. I then became interested in the interactions between platelets, neutrophils, and endothelium in the development of microvascular inflammation and thrombosis. When not in the laboratory or intensive care unit, I enjoy running, coaching my son's soccer team, and trying new foods. Oh, and writing grants. Who doesn't love writing grants? I plan to visit 2-3 laboratories in Europe in February or March 2018."

This annual award is given to reward meritorious research in the field of microcirculation by supporting the recipient's visits to laboratories abroad. The award is intended for a researcher who is a resident of the United States or Canada, has received a Ph.D. or completed a first M.D. residency within 12 years of the deadline, and is an active member of the MCS. The award consists of a certificate and $5,000 to defray travel costs associated with the trip.

To apply for this award, a letter of nomination describing how the award will benefit the nominee's career and advance their knowledge of microcirculation, a brief tentative itinerary including the laboratories to be visited, and a current Curriculum Vitae should be submitted to the Chair of the Awards Committee, Dr. Matthew Boegehold. Application materials are due prior to December 2nd of the year preceding the award. The recipient is expected to present a brief report of their trip to the MCS membership at the next annual meeting of the MCS.

 

Dr. Murfee is currently an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Tulane University. Prior to Tulane, Dr. Murfee received his Ph.D. from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Skalak and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Microcirculatory Laboratory with Dr. Geert Schmid-Schönbein in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego.  His research interests include the patterning coordination between blood and lymphatic vessels, the role of pericytes during angiogenesis, and the microvascular patterning alterations associated with age-related diseases. Dr. Murfee’s laboratory has recently developed a new tissue culture model to investigate the multi-cell dynamics involved in angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. During the upcoming summer, Dr. Murfee plans to visit the Walter Brendel Centre of Experimental Medicine (WBex) at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. WBex is a premier cardiovascular research center and an ideal choice because his research interests overlap with multiple laboratories. Dr. Murfee envisions that gaining experience with intravital microscopy, real time imaging, angiogenesis models and isolated vessel preparations will benefit his research, help generate new research questions, and spark collaborations. Specifically, Dr. Murfee’s goal will be to leverage the expertise of investigators at WBex and the capabilities of his laboratory’s model to create real-time movies of cell (blood endothelial cell, lymphatic endothelial cell, pericyte, smooth muscle cell, and immune cell) trafficking during adult microvascular network growth. Such a dynamic view does not exist and has the potential to offer new insights and discoveries for advancing how we think about the way microvascular networks grow and remodel. While in Germany, Dr. Murfee also plans to visit Berlin and Dr. Axel Pries in the Center for Cardiovascular Research at Charité – Universitätsmedizin.