Blood vessel research earns $8.9 million NIH grant

The dose makes the poison. Emory cardiovascular researcher and MSP faculty member Kathy Griendling, PhD, was one of the first scientists to show how reactive oxygen species, once thought to be poisonous byproducts of metabolism, are essential cellular signals needed for life.
She and a team of Emory and Georgia Tech researchers were awarded a five-year, $8.9 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health to better understand  how reactive oxygen species and inflammation can be both necessary for blood vessels to function, but detrimental in excess. The team’s work will explore strategies for targeted intervention, possibly leading to new preventive approaches for conditions such as atherosclerosis and aortic aneurysms.
“This award highlights the core strength we have built at Emory in understanding how vital signals such as ROS function in vascular biology,” says Griendling. “Our long-standing interest in this area is beginning to bear fruit in terms of translational approaches.”

Griendling is professor and vice-chair of research and faculty development in the Department of Medicine within Emory University School of Medicine. The team includes Hanjoong Jo, PhD, John and Jan Portman professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University and MSP faculty member; W. Robert Taylor, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and director of cardiology at Emory University School of Medicine, Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory and MSP faculty member; and Alejandra San Martin, PhD, assistant professor of medicine (cardiology) at Emory.

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