Dr. Jenny Sones received Catalyst Award from National Academy of Medicine

Dr. Jenny Sones

Dr. Jenny Sones

Jenny Sones, DVM (LSU 2008), PhD, DACT, associate professor of theriogenology, is the recipient of a Catalyst Award from the National Academy of Medicine. Sponsored by the National Institute of Aging, the award includes a $50,000 cash prize and travel costs to attend an annual Global Innovator Summit.

Dr. Sones is one of only 25 U.S.-based innovators to receive a Catalyst Award per year during 2020-22.

Dr. Sones is principal investigator of a study that investigates the effects of maternal obesity and the transgenerational effect of preeclampsia, a complication of pregnancy that often involves high blood pressure and sometimes organ damage that, if left untreated, can be fatal. “The majority of adults in the United States are overweight or obese, often with concurrent cardiovascular disease. The cardiometabolic epidemic likely begins with in utero development, before a baby is even born. Hypertensive pregnancies, as in preeclampsia, greatly increase offspring risk of cardiometabolic diseases later in life,” Dr. Sones said.

The precise mechanism of this phenomenon is unknown, and the long-term effects on offspring are unclear.

Sones hypothesizes that the disease factors can be reversed with maternal weight loss before pregnancy.

“Preliminary data supports our approach that weight loss reduces pregnancy hypertension and in utero fetal death.

“The findings of this proposal are necessary to understand the effects of preeclampsia on offspring into adulthood,” said Dr. Sones, whose co-investigator is Dr. Fiona Herzog, a second-year theriogenology resident at LSU Vet Med.

Dr. Sones’ study fits the National Academy of Medicine’s desire to support bold, new, and innovative ideas that aim to extend the human healthspan, or the number of years lived in good health, especially approaches that challenge existing paradigms or propose new methodologies or concepts. High-risk ideas that could potentially yield high rewards and, in turn, dramatically change the field of healthy longevity are encouraged by the National Academy of Medicine. Ideas may focus on any stage of life, as long as they ultimately promote health as people age.

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