The Society for Vascular Surgery Foundation and Vascular Cures are pleased to announce Dr. Andrea Obi, University of Michigan, as the 2019 Wylie Scholar. Her work on Impact of bone marrow progenitor cells’ epigenetic memory on venous thrombus formation and resolution seeks to better understand how blood clots in our veins form, the root cause of life-threatening conditions known as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE).    

DVT or a PE affect 1 in 1000 adults and lead to approximately 200,000-300,000 death per year.  Blood-thinners, the only available options for treatment and prevention, come with serious risks and cannot be used by everyone.  Dr. Obi’s lab has found that immune cells, which are created and “programmed” in the bone marrow, play an important role in the formation and breakdown of venous blood clots (thrombosis).   This project ultimately hopes to better understand the interplay between the immune system and thrombosis and help identify new non-blood thinning techniques to better prevent and treat DVT in the future.  

The Wylie Scholar Program, now in its 23rd year, awards one outstanding, young surgeon-scientist in North America with a $150,000 three-year career development grant for projects that combine active patient care with academic research. This year’s award is sponsored by the Society for Vascular Surgery Foundation.  The award supports crucial research that enables them to compete for future research funding. Wylie Scholars become North America’s world-class vascular surgeon-scientists; many are now chiefs at major academic centers, prominent leaders in the field, and play a key role in our programs. Vascular Cures is a national non-profit advancing innovation in healthcare and research for diseases outside the heart. The program’s investment has generated a 24:1 return in subsequent funding for the scholars and their institutions.