Energy. Ideas. Vision. Exchange. Collaboration. Dreaming big. Striving higher.
Dr. Catherine Kreatsoulas, Fulbright Student 2011-2012
Upon being awarded a Fulbright Canada Scholarship, as a clinical epidemiologist, I went to Harvard University to broaden my scope by studying social epidemiology. As it turns out, that was just the beginning! I study angina, the cardinal manifestation of heart disease, from a gender-centered perspective. There is a prevailing perception that heart disease is a “man’s disease”, despite being the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in women. Understanding symptoms is critical to both the individual experiencing them and to the clinician assessing them. In a series of progressive studies, I investigated angina symptoms in men and women and mapped them onto blockages in the arteries of their heart. Surprisingly, and against prevailing thought, I found that symptoms are remarkably similar between men and women but differ greatly in the way they are expressed. This study was published in JAMA Internal Medicine and my controversial findings received substantial media attention. I was on live television, radio, satellite radio, and picked up by multiple news outlet sources.
A few weeks ago, at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, I presented a featured research presentation on the “Symptomatic Tipping Point” where I explored the differences between men and women in the decision-making process and the reasons that prompted them to seek medical attention for their cardiac symptoms. This study also received wide media attention, including coverage in the Huffington Post, the Times of London, heart.org, and many others. I believe that the reason for the media attention is the unique and evolving lens that I bring to my work, in addition to the fact that heart disease is very much a woman’s disease as well.
Dr. Catherine Kreatsoulas receiving Greek America Top 40 under 40 2014 Award
I was deeply honoured and excited to receive the Fulbright Canada award, but did not know what to expect when I first moved to Boston. Now, three years later, I can honestly attest to this being the biggest life and career changing experience and I feel blessed to have been given this opportunity. In addition to the professional benefits of enriching my skill set, expanding both my vision and my collaborative network, and growing as an independent researcher, I have also grown as a person in my sense of self. I now dream big, with the confidence to pursue my dreams. I approach barriers and devise solutions to overcome them. My work in angina is now expanding to use methods embedded in artificial intelligence, and in collaboration with researchers at MIT, I am carving out new field. This experience has allowed me to think outside the box, to move the needle in a whole new direction, and develop a new methodology evolving alongside developments in technology. By addressing this important issue in a novel way, beyond the scientific contribution of this work, I believe it will have beneficial implications in medicine improving the health care among patients.
I am excited about the new direction of my work. I feel inspired and energized to pursue my innovation. I have expanded my vision and new ideas are born. This Fulbright Canada exchange has allowed me the opportunity to establish new collaborative networks, expand my reach, and while I strive for population impact. I am grateful for the support from Fulbright Canada and I look forward to fostering and expanding my collaborative network while I pursue even bigger dreams.Catherine Kreatsoulas, PhD Fulbright Student 2011-2012 Harvard School of Public Health Department of Social and Behavioural Sciences