University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Dr. Lisa Troy selected to participate in the prestigious Butler-Williams Scholars Program

Dr. Lisa Troy, assistant professor of nutrition at UMass Amherst and a Family Research Scholar in 2013-14, was selected to participate in the prestigious Butler-Williams Scholars Program for emerging researchers in 2015.

The program, an initiative of the NIH’s National Institute on Aging (NIA), provided a weeklong series of lectures, seminars and small group discussions at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland in late July. The focus was on topics related to aging across the racial/ethnic spectrum, including the biology of aging, genetics and Alzheimer’s disease, and other issues dealing with health, behavior and aging. Additional discussion sessions focused on methodological approaches and policy-based interventions. Approximately thirty scholars and researchers from across the United States are invited to participate each year.

The basis for Dr. Troy’s selection as a B-W Scholar stems from her innovative program of study at UMass Amherst, especially her research into the dramatic increase of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among postmenopausal women. According to her proposal for the Program, the physiological changes associated with menopause render inadequate the standard treatment protocols to prevent heart disease for premenopausal women and men. The typical recommendation—to exercise more—is insufficient for women after menopause, as they begin to experience increased inflammation and other vascular conditions during and after their transition.

Thus, investigating a reliable way to reduce these cardiovascular risk factors in postmenopausal women is central to Dr. Troy’s research proposal. Her study will examine if a combination of dietary interventions such as an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory supplement along with regular exercise may help reduce the incidence of heart disease for this population. Given the NIH’s research priority on women’s health, Dr. Troy hopes that her study will illuminate a potentially critical link for helping women avoid negative cardiovascular and metabolic outcomes as they live longer, healthier lives.