$1.7 million for heart and stroke research in London

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Health research in London got a $1.7 million boost from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. Researchers at The University of Western Ontario (Western) and Lawson Health Research Institute (Lawson) share in this funding announcement.

As diabetes reaches epidemic magnitude worldwide, a growing number of diabetics face morbidity and mortality due to chronic diabetic complications. Nearly 75 per cent of death associated with diabetes is due to complications affecting the heart. Dr. Subrata Chakrabarti, scientist at Lawson and professor in the Department of Pathology at Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry was one of the successful recipients in the Grant-in-Aid and Career Investigator competition. Funding will allow Chakrabarti and colleagues to investigate mechanisms leading to the development of abnormalities in the heart muscles of diabetics.

"In diabetes, cells use their own fuel differently. This causes damage to the cell nucleus, which signals the production of additional proteins and leads to enlargement of the heart muscle," explains Chakrabarti. "If this process continues, the cells ultimately fail to function." The focus of Chakrabarti's research is to understand these mechanisms in order to develop a preventative treatment for diabetic heart disease.

In total, ten scientists from London received funding for projects aimed at reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke and improving the quality of life for Canadians. The complete list of recipients includes:

Subrata Chakrabartireceived $142,960 (2 years) for the project "Vasoactive and cardioactive factors in diabetic heart disease".

Sean Creganreceived $181,468 (2 years) for his project "Mechanisms of p53 and ATF4 induced neuronal apoptosis".

James Hammondreceived $251,055 (3 years) for his project "Role of Nucleoside/Nucleobase Transporters in the Regulation of the Vascular Effects of Adenosine and its Metabolites".

David Hessreceived $139,904 (2 years) for his project "Progenitor cell regulation of the vascular regenerative niche".

Morris Karmazynreceived $167,750 (2 years) for his project "Sodium-regulatory transporter in myocardial remodelling and heart failure".

Stephen Lowniereceived $170,306 (2 years) for his project "Selective Brain Cooling".

Kibret Mequanintreceived $234,495 (3 years) for the project "Smooth muscle cell phenotype regulation in 3D fibrous biodegradable scaffolds for vascular tissue engineering".

David Spencereceived $161,016 (2 years) for his project "Effect of aldosterone antagonism on carotid atherosclerosis".

Hao Wangreceived $142,742 (2 years) for his project "Prevention of antibody-mediated rejection by soluble CD83 in presensitized cardiac allograft recipients".

Kaiping Yangreceived $140,330 (2 years) for his project "Early-life Origins of Visceral Adiposity".