Science Distilled: Mapping Genetics to Heart Health


As part of National Heart Month and The Discovery’s Science Distilled series, experts from Renown Health, DRI and UNR Med will talk about what’s been found around the globe and right here in our backyard concerning heart health research and genetics.

February is National Heart Month, and Renown Health is teaming up with The Discovery and Desert Research Institute for an early kick-off event that tries to answer a complex question: How do genetics play a role in determining risks and better diagnoses in cardiac health?

Science Distilled: Genetics — The Key to My Heart?” takes place at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24 at  the Patagonia Outlet, 130 S. Center St. Like all of The Discovery’s Science Distilled programs, it takes place at a hip location in a social atmosphere, making leading-edge science approachable for those who are curious.

This program will bring together Chris Rowan, M.D., a cardiologist with Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health; Lisa Calvo, M.D., a specialist in internal medicine with the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine; and Lynice Anderson, director of intensive cardiac rehab at Renown Health.

The panel is facilitated by Joseph Grzymski, Ph.D., of DRI and the co-director of the Institute for Health Innovation. That’s a partnership between DRI and Renown that includes the Healthy Nevada Project, which features genetics, environmental data and individual health information to study population health.


All of these experts will be discussing the emerging research that is pointing to the role genetics play in good heart health and care for the community. They will talk about discoveries from around the globe and right here in our backyard, all meant to answer the big questions about heart health and how to improve patient care, prevention and education.

Dr. Rowan will share details on his research that uses modern imaging to scan ancient mummies for evidence of heart disease. It took him to the Amazon to support research with communities of indigenous people, who have some of the healthiest hearts in the world.


Dr. Calvo plays a central role in training patients at UNR Med, and she will discuss how the science of learning is applied to patients who need care, and how that requires nuance and skilled clinical reasoning.

Anderson has seen innovative heart health care in action in her role with Intensive Cardiac Rehab, which focuses on plant-based nutrition, exercise and stress management to help improve a person’s heart health and quality of life.

Science Distilled costs $15 or $10 for members of The Discovery or students. Purchase tickets and learn more about the program at The Discovery website.