Council on Hypertension (HTN) Trainee Advocacy Resources

The Council on Hypertension Trainee Advocacy Committee (HTN TAC) aims to foster the development of trainees and early career professionals in the field of functional genomics and translational biology, including research scientists and clinicians. Our goal is to promote and encourage trainees and early career individuals to participate in council activities and to provide information to those members of our council.

Volunteer Involvement Form

Want to get involved? Submit a Volunteer Involvement Form. We'll contact you if an opportunity fits your expertise.


Members of the Council on Hypertension Trainee Advocacy Committee (HTN TAC) play an integral role in furthering the mission of the Hypertension Council by planning early career sessions, developing a mentoring program and fostering collaboration via the Council on Hypertension on the AHA Professional Online Network (PON).

Current HTN TAC Members

Full Trainee Advocacy Committee Listing


Term 1, Ends 11/30/2015

Aaron J. Trask, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Center for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research
The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital

HTN TAC Vice-Chair

Term 1, Ends 11/30/2015

Matthew C. Zimmerman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Director, Free Radicals in Medicine Program
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology

Council Chair

Term 1, Ends 11/30/2016
Christopher Wilcox, M.D., Ph.D., FAHA
Chief of Division of Nephrology & Hypertension Director, Center for Hypertension, Kidney and Vascular Health


Term 1, Ends 11/30/2016
Brandi M. Wynne, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow at Emory University

Term 1, Ends 11/30/2016

Fouad Zouein, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Physiology and Biophysics
University of Mississippi Medical Center

Term 1, Ends 11/30/2016

Hana A. Itani, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Division of Clinical Pharmacology
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Term 2, Ends 11/30/2016

Analia S. Loria, Ph.D., FAHA
Assistant Research Scientist 
Section of Experimental Medicine
Department of Medicine
Georgia Health Sciences University

Term 1, Ends 11/30/2016

Augusto Montezano, Ph.D., FAHA
Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences
BHF Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre
University of Glasgow

Term 2, Ends 11/30/2015

Mariela Mendez, Ph.D.
Hypertension & Vascular Research Division Henry Ford Hospital
Education & Research Building Room 7069

Term 1, End 11/30/2015

Rudy M. Ortiz, Ph.D., FAHA
Associate Professor of Physiology & Nutrition
Program Director, UC Merced MARC
Founding Faculty
Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology
University of California

Term 1, End 11/30/2016

Eric George, Ph.D. 
TAC Website Editor
Postdoctoral Fellow 
University of Mississippi
Medical Ctr. - Physiology & Biophysics

Immediate Past Chair

Term 1, Ends 11/30/2016
Gregory Fink, Ph.D., FAHA
Michigan State University, Pharmacology & Toxicology


To involve trainees / postdoctoral students / recently trained individuals in Council on Hypertension activities. To expand the diversity of the council.  To identify early career council members from diverse backgrounds to participate in other Council committees

Number of Members:
 The Committee shall be comprised of one or more advisors, including the Immediate Past Chair of the Council, and up to 9 members, one of whom will be Chair. The other advisor will be an active senior participant in the Council on Hypertension. The Chair will be selected by Council leadership.
Reports to: 
 Council Chair and Leadership Committee
Method of Appointment:
 Members shall be chosen using an application process, facilitated by a small task force from the Leadership committee.  The finalists of the previous year’s Young Investigator Award competition will be considered.
Term of Office:

Members shall serve two-year terms beginning July 1 and ending June 30.  Terms shall be staggered for continuity. 

Frequency of Meetings:

The Committee shall meet via teleconference 1-2 times per year. The time commitment will vary, but should not exceed an average of 1-3 hours per month.  Special projects may require additional time.

Benefits of Participation:
  • Become familiar with AHA Leadership structure and activities of the Council at an early career stage
  • Develop a credential for career advancement
  • Network with peers.
Staffed by: 

AHA Science & Medicine Advisor and AHA Council Manager


Chairperson’s Responsibilities:

  • Attend Leadership Committee meetings and present Committee report at Spring and Fall Conference meetings.
  • Oversee committee.
  • Work with AHA staff to set meeting dates and times.
  • Lead discussions at meetings and monitor activities.
  • Review minutes of Committee meetings.
  • Work with Committee and AHA staff to develop an annual plan and budget and to oversee projects. 
  • Assign responsibilities as needed.
  • Assist in selection of committee members
Committee Responsibilities:
  • Serve on other AHA Council on Hypertension Committees
  • Liaison as needed to other AHA Councils’ committees
  • Pursue activities that benefit early career persons at various levels. Examples:
  • Develop a website within the main council page devoted to trainee issues
  • Mentoring trainees
  • Create a reading list of seminal papers of interest to trainees
  • Early career development support

The Council on Hypertension makes a number of awards available to early career researchers, including the Young Investigator Award, presented annually at AHA scientific session, as well as a number of travel awards to attend scientific sessions.

Council on Hypertension Awards, Lectures and Scholarships

We know you want the best career resources. Our Early Career Professional Membership and mentoring programs give you top-notch tools to maximize your growth as a young professional. Our goal is for all Early Career Members to play a crucial role in our prestigious organization. We give you opportunities to meet and dialogue about specialty and career issues with other Early Career Members and more senior professionals across the globe.

Visit Early Career Development & Resources for more information.

National Meetings of Special Interest

Hypertension Scientific Sessions

Annual Meeting of the Hypertension Council with top tier vascular research and special sessions aimed to foster the success of early career members.  Immediately follows the SVS Research Initiatives conference.

Visit the Council on Hypertension Scientific Sessions site for full details.

When & Where

Sept. 14–17, 2016
The Dolphin Hotel
Orlando, FL

Hypertension Summer School

The bi-annual Hypertension Summer School will provide a broad overview of the major systems that contribute to blood pressure control and the development of hypertension with emphasis on basic mechanisms, clinical relevance and epidemiology, and current and emerging therapies for the treatment of hypertension.

Visit the Hypertension Summer School site for for full details.

Scientific Sessions

Comprehensive national meeting of cardiac and vascular diseases.

Visit the Scientific Sessions site for full details.

When & Where

Nov 12-16, 2016
New Orleans

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Administered by the Trainee Advocacy Committee

Mission Statement

To foster an environment of training and networking activities in order to provide support in the form of mentor CHAMPions for future career choices in the scientific community.

Visit Council on Hypertension Advisory and Mentoring Program (CHAMP) for full details.

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Collaborate with you Council in the Council on Hypertension's Private Group!