Anna Stanhewicz completed her doctorate at Penn State in 2014. She is currently a post–doctoral fellow in the Microvascular Physiology Laboratory under the mentorship of Lacy Alexander. Dr. Stanhewicz’s research expertise includes the use of intradermal microdialysis for the in vivo assessment of vascular function coupled with pharmacological or lifestyle interventions for improved cardiovascular health. Her current research projects utilize acute, localized, in vivo pharmacological techniques to examine mechanisms of microvascular dysfunction in women who have had a preeclamptic pregnancy.
Title of Project: Microvascular Mechanisms Underlying Persistent Vessel Dysfunction Following Preeclampsia (PI: Stanhewicz)
Funding: NIH F32 HLI129677 – 01
Research Abstract: Women who develop preeclampsia during pregnancy are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease later in life, even if they are otherwise healthy. The reason why this occurs is unclear but may be related to blood vessel damage that occurs during the preeclamptic pregnancy and persists postpartum. Therefore, the purpose of our ongoing investigation is to determine the mechanisms contributing to this blood vessel damage in women who have had preeclampsia. We utilize intradermal microdialysis for the delivery of pharmacological agents directly to the cutaneous vascular bed, coupled with laser–Doppler flux for the measurement of cutaneous blood flow, to pharmacodissect the cellular mechanisms contributing to microvascular dysfunction in this population. Identification of these mechanisms may lead to better long–term clinical management of cardiovascular disease risk in these women.