Yoon receives AHA career development award

Jin-Young Yoon, PhD, research assistant professor in Cardiovascular Medicine, received a three-year, $231,000 American Heart Association (AHA) Career Development Award (CDA). With this funding, Yoon will explore the protective role of SIRTUIN5 in the heart.

SIRT5 is a member of Sirtuins (SIRTs), a family of NAD+-dependent protein deACYLases. SIRT5 has been reported to affect cardiac contractility, but its role in cardiac electrical activity is not well understood. Yoon found that a SIRT5 mutation in mice results in Na+/Ca2+-mishandling and arrhythmias that are associated with dysfunction of the redox balance of the heart.

With CDA funding, Yoon will further investigate whether SIRT5 safeguards the balance between reactive oxygen species (ROS) and Na+/Ca2+ signaling to prevent Ca2+-dependent arrhythmogenesis under conditions of oxidative stress in a mouse model of Brugada syndrome, a life-threatening inherited arrhythmic disease that causes sudden cardiac death. “The proposed work could identify novel ways to modulate and treat arrhythmias and pave the way for the use of SIRT5 or SIRT5 activators as novel anti-arrhythmic therapies,” Yoon said.

Yoon currently works in the lab of Barry London, MD, PhD, Professor of Internal Medicine and Director of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and the Abboud Cardiovascular Research Center.

“I would like to express gratitude to my primary mentor, Dr. Barry London, for his unwavering support, patience, and encouragement. That was a light for my path and enabled me to take the necessary steps to make the transition to be an independent researcher,” Yoon said. “Although this is just a beginning, this award is seen as a stepping stone toward becoming an independent researcher and receiving an R01 grant.”

Yoon also acknowledges the support of her secondary mentors, Kaikobad Irani, MD, Professor in Internal Medicine, and David B. Lombard, MD, PhD, Professor in Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at the University of Miami.

“I am thankful to all other members in the London Lab as well as other collaborators for their support and generosity,” Yoon said. “I would also like to thank my family members and friends for their constant encouragement which was a lamp to my feet.”

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