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ECU researcher reaches final round of national competition

Dr. Jitka Virag (Ashley Boles, NewsChannel 12 photo)

ECU researcher Dr. Jitka Virag is in the finals of the nationwide STAT Madness.

The competition is held to find out the best best innovations in health and medicine. People have been able to cast votes throughout the process (see link below). Virag has beaten the defending champion Michigan along with Yale during the process.

Virag is competing against Children's National Health System at George Washington University. Voting for the final round ends at 5 p.m. Friday.

WHO: East Carolina University researcher Dr. Jitka Virag, associate professor in the Department of Physiology at the Brody School of Medicine, will be available to discuss her research and selection for the nationwide contest, STAT Madness.

WHAT: Virag is one of two finalists in STAT Madness, a bracket-style competition which hopes to find the best innovations in health and medicine. ECU unseated last year’s winner, University of Michigan, and most recently beat Yale University. The final round ends 5 p.m. Friday. Virag is competing against Children’s National Health System (George Washington University). The researcher with the most online votes will be named the winner.

WHY: Virag’s research could change the protocol for treating heart attack patients, lead to a significantly higher survival rate and increase the quality of life for survivors. The research centers around EphrinA1-Fc and its ability to significantly reduce tissue damage that occurs during a heart attack if administered while the event is taking place. If Virag wins the tournament, her innovative research will receive $5,000 in press coverage – including an article written by STAT journalists, native advertising articles and newsletter sponsorships.

HOW: To vote for ECU, click here.

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