Shivani Sethi just won the 2019 PhD student speaker prize of the Otago Medical School Research Society for her work on understanding how the brain controls the autonomous nervous system driving the heart in diabetes.
In type 2 diabetes mellitus, the heart receives increased input from the autonomous nervous system which can lead to serious complications. Where this increased drive originates, however, is unclear and Shivani's work tries to find the brain regions which may be involved. Better knowledge about the circuits involved could lead to new therapies for patients, because current treatments at the level of heart are not very effective. At this year's scientific meeting of the Otago Medical School Research Society Shivani presented her recent work on a diabetic rat model and competed with 9 other students across the Otago Medical School. Out of the wide array of research topics being presented Shivani's presentation was selected as the best and she was awarded with $1,000.