3MT 2022 Finalist Kim Ho

Kim Ho

Pediatrics, College of Health Sciences

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Fueling the Failing Heart with Ketones

Introduce yourself...

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta.

What are you researching and what do you hope comes out of your research?

I am researching ketone metabolism in heart failure. I hope that by elucidating and clarifying the confusion surrounding the failing heart's energy profile, new therapeutic strategies can be developed to help heart failure patients.

How did presenting a Three Minute Thesis (3MT) help explain your research to the public?

Presenting a 3MT immensely helps with learning to explain your research to the general public since it gets you thinking on how to communicate complex topics like 'cardiac energy metabolism' to people such as my family members and friends that are not in the field. It's challenging but a very important skill that the 3MT has taught me!

What inspires you to do research?

My curious nature and a love for problem-solving :)

What are three keywords important to your 3MT?

ketone, heart, metabolism

How does your research impact local, provincial, or global communities at large?

My research impacts local, provincial and global communities at large by contributing to the development of therapeutic strategies for heart failure and as such, improving heart failure patient outcomes.

If you had to dedicate your research to anyone from the past, present, or future—who would it be and why?

My supervisors of course! Dr. Gary Lopaschuk and Dr. John Ussher have literally been my legs during my PhD and without them, I wouldn't have been able to achieve what I have thus far. From giving me constructive criticism to being probably the most caring/understanding graduate supervisors, both of them are the smartest people I know and I am seriously learning from the best of the best. Thank you so much for always being patient with me and challenging me to be the best I can be :)

3MT Image Description - This slide is split in half. The left side shows the failing heart alongside a slow/broken-down car. The right side shows the healthy heart alongside a fast/working car. For both sides, it is shown that the heart can be fueled by fats, carbohydrates or ketones. Since ketones are the focus of the talk, the word ketones is bolded while 'fats & and carbohydrates' are faded. Lastly, on the left side of the slide where the broken-down car is representing heart failure, a gas pump can be shown re-fueling it with 'keto diet?'.

Watch Kim's Three Minute Thesis