Dr. Isabella Grumbach, Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, has just had her VA Merit proposal funded with a four-year, $650,000 grant. Dr. Grumbach provided a detailed description of what she and the researchers in her lab will study:
At least 30% of the estimated three million veterans with hypertension do not reach the current target blood pressure. Hypertension causes remodeling of the vascular wall, leading to further increases in BP and end organ dysfunction. These effects are linked to 5,000 annual deaths among veterans. Oxidative stress by mitochondria has recently been recognized as a common denominator in hypertension, but mechanisms of how mitochondrial function in vascular smooth muscle cells drives hypertension and remodeling are unknown.
This application builds on our recent discoveries that blocking the activity of the multifunctional Calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII) selective in smooth muscle cells in the blood vessel wall is sufficient to block mitochondrial oxidative stress and prevent experimental hypertension. In this project, we will study how CaMKII in mitochondria drives oxidative stress and whether blocking it is a new avenue to prevent or treat hypertension in mice.
Congratulations to Dr. Grumbach on securing the funding to further this important research.