My name is Matt Zimmerman and I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Cellular & Integrative Physiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). I am proud and honored to be an AHA volunteer and advocate for the AHA mission.
In my “day job”, I direct a biomedical research laboratory and teach/mentor graduate and medical students. In my research laboratory, we strive to better understand how the brain contributes to normal cardiovascular function and influences the development of cardiovascular diseases, particularly hypertension (a.k.a. high blood pressure).
Throughout my research career, first as a PhD graduate student and now as an independent academic scientist, my research has been supported by the AHA. I am tremendously grateful for the millions of dollars that the AHA contributes each year to the biomedical research community. However, the AHA does so much more than support research to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. I chose to become an active volunteer with the Omaha AHA because I wanted to contribute to and make an impact in the other AHA-supported programs to promote healthy living in my community.
As a member of the Omaha Metro AHA Board of Directors, I believe I can make a difference by communicating with our community leaders as to how AHA research dollars are being used in our own backyard to support the exciting cardiovascular research being conducted in our community’s research institutions. Recently, I was honored to be appointed to the AHA Midwest Affiliate Board of Directors, which will give me an opportunity to promote AHA’s mission not only in my own community but across the entire Midwest. As a volunteer, it gives me great personal pleasure to be part of the many great AHA events that bring cardiovascular disease awareness to our community, such as the AHA Heart Walk.
I am excited to contribute to current AHA initiatives including making CPR training a high school graduation requirement in the state of Nebraska, and improving the health of our community’s workforce by promoting the AHA’s Workplace Health Solutions program. I look forward to being a life-long AHA volunteer and advocate.