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Vani Nilakantan is the Director of Investigator-Initiated Sponsored Research at Aurora Health Care. She provides leadership over clinical research activities and ensure that research priorities are in alignment with Aurora Health Care’s mission and strategic priorities. Nilakantan has created effective collaborative partnerships with senior administrative leadership, clinical system leaders and medical staff and is responsible for developing research programs in partnership with academia and industry. In her role as Director of the Sponsored Programs Office, she has oversight over federal, state, industry and foundation grants. Dr. Nilakantan is an ad-hoc reviewer for Kidney International, British Journal of Urology, Neuroscience India, PPAR Research, Free Radicals in Biology and Medicine and is on the editorial board for Journal of Clinical Rehabilitative Tissue Engineering Research and BioMed Research International. Nilakantan has held leadership roles in institutional, local and national committees including the Wisconsin Network for Health Research, Aurora Medical Directors Research Council, Aurora Cardiovascular Research Committee, Cancer Clinical Leadership Research Subcommittee, Aurora- AUWMG Research Committee, Animal Care and Use Committee, Aurora- Conflict of Interest Taskforce, MCW -Admissions Committee, MCW- Co-Chair Program Committee Women’s Faculty Council, International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation - Quality of Life Scientific Council.
Prior to joining Aurora Health Care, Ms.Nilakantan was an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) where she led a research program in ischemic acute kidney injury and renal protection in kidney transplantation. Her work has been funded by intramural and extramural funding from AHA and NIH. Her collaborations with other investigators have led to 3 grants, 29 peer-reviewed publications and numerous presentations at national conferences. Her current research interests are majorly studying racial disparities in organ transplantation and in the identification of novel serum diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in cardiac injury and acute kidney injury. She is collaborating with investigators at UWM College of Health Sciences (Informatics) to develop tools and algorithms for building a clinical decision support module at Aurora Health Care for risk stratification of acute kidney injury. To this end, she and the investigators are UWM are submitting grants to national agencies in a joint manner.
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