CONTACT: STEVE MARAVETZ
283 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8037; fax (319) 335-8034
Cardiovascular Research Center receives $7.3 grant from NIH
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a $7.3 million grant
to study the integrative neurobiology of cardiovascular regulation to Dr.
Francois Abboud, head of the University of Iowa department of internal
medicine and director of the UI Cardiovascular Research Center.
Calling the 26-year-old program "unique" because of its investigative
focus on basic mechanisms involved in cardiovascular regulation, the NHLBI
announcement concludes by saying that the program is "recommended
with outstanding enthusiasm."
Abboud, Edith King Pearson Professor of Cardiovascular Research, professor
of physiology and biophysics, and head of the department of internal medicine,
has directed the Cardiovascular Research Center since its inception in
"This grant is yet another indication of the high esteem in which
our cardiovascular researchers are held," says Dr. Robert P. Kelch,
dean of the UI College of Medicine. "The UI Cardiovascular Research
Center is truly at the forefront of making new discoveries about the heart,
the lungs and the circulatory system."
Calling the approval "extremely gratifying," Abboud cited
two reasons for the program's recent renewal and longevity. "This
work is interdisciplinary in nature, with top investigators in 6 UI departments
involved in our center," he says. "And the work of investigators
incorporates state-of-the-art research techniques that range from molecular
biology to clinical studies in humans."
Among the work to be undertaken as part of the grant:
*How specialized regions of the brain sense changes in circulating factors
in the blood, such as angiotensin and how this mechanism may contribute
to development of cardiovascular diseases including high blood pressure;
*The mechanisms by which angiotensin produced in the brain regulates
blood volume and pressure;
*The mechanisms responsible for abnormal regulation of the cardiovascular
system and increased incidence of cardiovascular disease in obese subjects;
*The molecular and cellular mechanisms by which mechanical stretch and
chemical factors influence the activity of blood pressure sensing nerves
*The roles of calcitonin-gene-related peptide (CGRP) in protecting the
brain from vasospasm and stroke during subarachnoid hemorrhage and in mediating
increases in heart rate and blood pressure in response to pain.
The five-year extension began on March 1 and will extend through the
program's 30th anniversary in the year 2002.