The American Heart Association (AHA) has designated a team from the University of Iowa and the University of Utah as a Strategically Focused Heart Failure Network (SFHFN) and provided more than $3.8M for its work. Approximately $1M of that will fund Dr. Dale Abel’s laboratory as members perform the basic science portion in partnership with researchers at the University of Utah, who will conduct the clinical and population studies. The team comprising Abel and Drs Craig Selzman, Stavros Drakos, Josef Stehlik and Dean Li from Utah, will test the hypothesis that improving the efficiency of cardiac glucose metabolism may predict cardiac recovery in heart failure. By focusing on identifying these predictors in recovery in patients and in populations, they will shift focus from the standard search for why a patient may worsen and thus hopefully discover new approaches in treatment.
The AHA has also named three other SFHFNs which will examine other aspects of heart failure–a growing and deadly national epidemic–at Duke University, Colorado University, and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. In a statement, AHA CEO Nancy Brown said, “The work that will take place at these centers is crucial. Scientific research is our most powerful tool when it comes to preventing, treating, and better understanding all cardiovascular diseases.”
This is the second AHA-funded strategically focused network to come to the University of Iowa. Dr. Curt Sigmund, Chair and DEO of the Department of Pharmacology, leads one of four networks studying hypertension.