UC San Diego receives grant to study hypoxia susceptibility

Gabriel G. Haddad, MD, chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego has received a $10 million grant from the National Institute of Health’s Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

A world renowned physician-scientist in pediatric pulmonary medicine, Haddad will lead a collaborative team of investigators from UC San Diego and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute to study the impact of low oxygen levels on cells and tissue in the heart, lung, and brain.

“Understanding the molecular, cellular, and genetic mechanisms that contribute to low oxygen tolerance or susceptibility will have a major impact on our treatments of central nervous system and cardio-respiratory diseases such as stroke, myocardial ischemia/infarction, obstructive sleep apnea and pulmonary hypertension,” said Haddad.

The overall aims of this project are:

•To study the adaptive mechanisms to hypoxia in cardiovascular and respiratory systems at both cellular and molecular levels

•To study the fundamental genetic mechanisms of tolerance in a Drosophila (fruit fly) model

•To modulate or manipulate molecular mechanisms in mammalian cells/tissues/animals to render them hypoxia-tolerant after learning from a tolerant organism, e.g., the fly

•To identify molecular signatures of hypoxia tolerance and susceptibility that may be predictive clinically

Source: University of California — San Diego

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