Frank Faraci, PhD, Professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and of Pharmacology, received a five-year, $2.54M R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Faraci plans to use these funds to study small vessel disease (SVD) in the brain to gain insight into mechanisms and potential therapies that could prevent this group of diseases.
Dr. Faraci will study the impact of hypertension, which is the greatest risk factor for strokes, to discover health therapies that may prevent or delay development of SVD, a major contributor to strokes, cognitive deficits, and other neurological diseases. Dr. Faraci hypothesizes that the changes in structure, function, and mechanics of small vessels that supply the brain are driven by local effects of the brain renin-angiotensin system. He predicts that mechanisms centered around endothelial cells, the cells lining the interior of blood vessels, maybe a key target and integrator of these changes. Using innovative models and various other approaches, Dr. Faraci and his team will base their research around a segment of the vasculature where very little research has been conducted. This work is done in collaboration with Drs. Justin Grobe and Gary Baumbach.
This new grant complements other ongoing projects in Dr. Faraci’s laboratory that address the vascular component of neurological diseases using a $1.8M NIH grant received in 2016. Dr. Faraci is also a member of the Transatlantic Network of Excellence for Cardiovascular and Neurovascular Research, a program established by the Leducq Foundation in France.