BREATHE trainee Dr. Aline Oliveira was recently awarded a K99/R00 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to study “Neuroimmune axis contribution to the pathophysiology of pulmonary hypertension.” The K99/R00 program enables a mentored postdoctoral researcher to more rapidly transition into a stable independent research position. Through this prestigious award, Dr. Oliveira will examine sustained increase in sympathetic nervous system activity, which scientists increasingly appreciate as a major contributor to pulmonary hypertension severity and prognosis. This form of high blood pressure affects the arteries in the lungs and the right side of the heart and can lead to shortness of breath, fatigue, edema, chest pains, and heart palpitations. Working with her UF mentors, Drs. Andrew Bryant and Eric Krause, as well as a Mentoring Committee comprised of experts in the proposed techniques, Dr. Oliveira will focus in part on a subset of disease-associated microglia as a target for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension and its associated organ damage. Ultimately, the results of these studies may help us better understand the brain’s contribution to pulmonary hypertension and lead to more effective treatments for this life-altering disease. Congrats, Dr. Oliveira!