Chad Grueter, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, has received a $30,000 Medical Research Initiative Grant (MRIG) from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust to better understand the role of a protein in the Mediator complex in heart repair after a heart attack or other cardiac injury. Specifically, Dr. Grueter will examine the function of cyclin C in a stress-dependent signaling pathway within cardiomyocytes, hypothesizing that elevated levels are sufficient to remodel both cardiac transcription and mitochondrial function. The Grueter lab will overexpress cyclin C in a mouse model to study this process and determine whether the increased levels are sufficient to cause cardiomyopathy.
A clearer understanding of the role of this protein and the pathways at work in ischemic heart disease has the potential to uncover new therapeutic targets against the leading cause of death in the United States. The Carver MRIGs are intended to provide seed money for investigators interested in pursuing new ideas that show great promise. The intention is that successful initial results can then be parlayed into pursuit of larger, more in-depth studies funded by extramural sources. Applications for MRIGs are generally due in mid-April of each year.