The American Heart Association has recently approved a round of funding for multiple members of the Department. Two Winter 2017 Grant-in-Aid awards each totaling $154,000 are set to begin July 1 and will continue through the end of June 2019. In her project, Dr. Isabella Grumbach, Vice Chair for Research, will focus on how mitochondria provide the energy for migration of smooth muscle cells during the formation of stenoses after balloon angioplasty. In particular, her lab hypothesizes that mitochondria need to translocate to the vicinity of focal adhesions where they provide energy for the turnover of cytoskeletal proteins. The translocation is controlled by intracellular calcium, in particular the kinase CaMKII in mitochondria.
Dr. Rajan Sah, Assistant Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, will research ion channel regulation of pancreatic beta-cell function, which, in individuals with diabetes, can experience a relative loss of insulin-secretion. Dr. Sah and his lab members aim to understand the molecular mechanisms by which a protein they discovered enables the pancreatic beta-cell to secrete insulin, with the ultimate aim of leveraging this novel pathway to augment insulin secretion for the treatment of diabetes.
Dr. Jing Liu, a postdoctoral associate, has been awarded a Winter 2017 Postdoctoral Fellowship. The fellowship will continue to fuel her work examining the role of vascular microRNAs in aortic aneurysmal diseases for the next two years. Dr. Liu is a member of Dr. Kaikobad Irani’s lab. Dr. Nirav Dhanesha, a postdoctoral associate, has also been awarded a postdoctoral fellowship. Dr. Dhanesha will continue his work in understanding the mechanisms that promote thrombosis in comorbid conditions of hyperlipidemia, specifically the role of integrin alpha9beta1. He is a member of Dr. Anil Chauhan’s lab.
Congratulations to all four of these researchers!