Huang wins prestigious NSF CAREER award

Dr. Hsiao-Ying “Shadow” Huang   Dr. Huang has been awarded an National Science Foundation CAREER Award for her project, “Restoring Function in Chronic Venous Insufficiency: Unraveling the Structural-Mechanics of Venous Valve Tissues.” The award supports young faculty members in their efforts to build a successful research enterprise and comes with a five-year, $500,000 grant. This award will help support our ongoing investigation of structural-mechanical aspects of the venous valve tissues. The aim is to restore function in chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). CVI is a debilitating vascular disease with a prevalence estimated to be twice as high in women; risk increases with pregnancy, age, and occupations involving standing. CVI is considered a disabling condition by the US Social Security Administration; however, increasing prevalence has not been met with commensurate increases in rehabilitation research. This project will provide a detailed compositional, structural and biaxial mechanical characterization of venous valve leaflet, sinus and associated vein tissues. Thus, this research will fill a critical gap in the basic science of venous valves, as well as serve as a springboard for innovation, informing approaches to the treatment of CVI. Collectively, results will provide a much- needed comprehensive basis for understanding venous valve physiology, pathology, and for the advancement of both palliative and restorative therapies, including pharmacological, surgical and rehabilitation interventions to combat CVI.