Small blood vessels matter too | Michael Hill, PhD

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Join me today as I sit down with a very special guest: my dad, Professor Michael Hill, PhD. Dad’s journey as a scientist has inspired my own work and taken our family across the globe, and in Episode #319 I’m honoured to host him as he shares his story from early career discoveries to current research.

“You have to do what you love to do, otherwise you’re not going to put your heart and soul into it.”

Michael A. Hill, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Medical Pharmacology and Physiology in the School of Medicine and past Director of the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center, University of Missouri. He has held academic positions in both the USA and Australia and conducts research related to the function of vascular cells (smooth muscle and endothelium) under physiological and pathophysiological (diabetes, obesity and hypertension) conditions. Dr Hill has published over 200 research articles and book chapters, and he shares how he achieved this in this episode.

“The take-home message is that [science is] exciting. There’s a hell of a lot more new questions to answer.”

As well as getting an inside look at Dr Hill’s academic career, you’ll learn about microvasculature (very small blood vessels), including what they are and how they impact human health. If you’re a long-time listener, you would have heard me talk about my experience with Dad’s heart attack. In today’s conversation, you’ll hear his side of the story, his advice on preventing atherosclerosis, and insights into the Ozempic and vaping conversations.

Specifically, we discuss:

  • Introduction (00:00)
  • Childhood Memories and Early Interests (03:19)
  • Pursuing a Career in Biochemistry (08:36)
  • Microvasculature and Diabetes Research (12:12)
  • Early Research on Investigating Blood Properties and Diabetes (17:44)
  • Family Stories and Moving to the U.S. (28:47)
  • Returning to Australia and Continued Research (36:39)
  • Exploring Microvessel Behaviours: Research at RMIT (41:34)
  • Dealing with Health Challenges and Maintaining Work-Life Balance (46:20)
  • Understanding Microvascular Functions and Cardiac Health (50:32)
  • Exploring Vessel Constriction and Small Blockages: A Closer Look (01:00:15)
  • Understanding the Impact of Large Arterial Stiffness on Vascular Health (01:07:01)
  • Identifying Risk Factors: A Comprehensive Approach to Vascular Well-being (01:11:01)
  • Personal Views on the Evolution of Scientific Research Access (01:19:39)
  • Returning to the USA: Advancing Research on Blood Vessel Mechanisms (01:21:58)
  • COVID-19 and Metabolic Syndromes: Exploring the Early Research Connections (01:27:30)
  • Current Research and Future Directions (01:29:29)
  • Reflecting on a Career Dedicated to Science: Family, Achievements, and Future Directions (01:34:48)
  • Outro (01:40:44)

It’s a privilege to share Dad’s story on the podcast. He has been a huge inspiration and supporter of The Proof, and his own accomplishments are certainly worth celebrating. I hope you find this conversation interesting and insightful.

If you’re interested in learning more about Dad’s work and career, head to his profile here.

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More about Michael Hill, PhD

Michael A. Hill, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Medical Pharmacology and Physiology in the School of Medicine and past Director of the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center, University of Missouri.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Melbourne and undertook postdoctoral training at Texas A&M University. He has held academic positions in both the USA and Australia. Dr. Hill conducts research related to the function of vascular cells (smooth muscle and endothelium) under physiological and pathophysiological (diabetes, obesity and hypertension) conditions. Specific emphasis has been placed on the role of mechanical forces (pressure, stretch and stiffness) in the vasculature; both in small and large arteries. He has been recognized for contributions to vascular physiology by being elected as a Fellow of the American Physiological Society

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