Speaker: Satoshi Okawa

When: 12:00pm, May 1, 2024

Where: CCSB Conference Room ELEN 231 [ Join Meeting ]


Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a progressive and near fatal disease affecting the arteries in the lungs and the right ventricular size and function. Early diagnosis of PH can be challenging, as its symptoms overlap with those of many other disease conditions. Although PH is conventionally characterized as a disease restricted to the pulmonary vasculature, extra-pulmonary complications of PH, including anxiety, depression, and cognitive impairment, have been often reported. Understanding the links between PH and brain abnormalities may open up new avenues for more effective disease diagnosis and treatment. However, research in this area is currently scarce and often constrained by small sample sizes. In this presentation, I will discuss our recent cross-cohort study, which utilizes electronic health records (EHRs) and imaging data from PH patients to explore how PH may influence brain changes. Our findings indicate that these brain alterations are consistent across different cohorts and are specific to PH, underscoring their significance in understanding PH pathophysiology and their potential as new biomarkers.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Satoshi Okawa is an Assistant Professor of the Vascular Medicine Institute at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, with affiliations to the Department of Computational & Systems Biology and McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine. He received his PhD in mass spectormetry-based proteomics from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory Heidelberg, Germany. He then performed his postdoctoral training in computational systems biology at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine, where he and his colleagues developed and applied computational systems biology tools for tackling biological problems. Since joining the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, his research has been focusing on large-scale population data analyses to elucidate disease mechanisms, particularly in cardiac diseases such as pulmonary hypertension, in collaboration with physician scientists at the institute.