CONTACT: DAVE PEDERSEN
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8032; fax (319) 384-4638
Release: Feb. 19, 2001
UI researchers receive $10.7 million NIH grant to continue hypertension
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the
National Institutes of Health has awarded the University of Iowa a five-year,
$10.7 million grant for its Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) on the Molecular
Genetics of Hypertension.
The competitive award, which became effective Feb. 1, will enable researchers
at the UI Cardiovascular Research Center to continue studies on the genetic
basis of hypertension.
Curt D. Sigmund, Ph.D., associate professor in the UI Department of Internal
Medicine Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, will serve as the program director.
Sigmund also holds a faculty appointment in the UI Department of Physiology
and Biophysics and is director of the UI Transgenic Animal Facility and the
Center on Functional Genomics of Hypertension.
The program involves collaboration among 15 faculty from six departments
with collaborators and consultants at nine other institutions across the country.
Project leaders include UI researchers Val C. Sheffield, M.D., Ph.D., John
Stokes, M.D., Peter Snyder, M.D., Robin L. Davisson, Ph.D., Allyn L. Mark,
M.D., and Sigmund.
Themes of the research program are to determine molecular and physiologic
mechanisms of genetic hypertension in humans and experimental animals. All
of the projects address one or more of the three basic goals of the SCOR program:
mapping and identification of disease-causing genes; mechanistic studies on
the consequences of genetic variation; and molecular genetic studies on basic
mechanisms of normal and altered blood pressure control.
The primary goal of the program is to identify genes involved in blood pressure
and related phenotypes by examining specific human populations and by taking
advantage of the similarity of genomes between animals and humans. Other projects
will focus on the molecular biology and genetics of salt-sensitive hypertension,
the effects of hypertension on cardiac hypertrophy, and the mechanisms of
obesity-induced hypertension. Sigmunds project will examine how abnormal
expression of renin-angiotensin system genes in the kidney and brain cause
The UI investigators expect to understand more clearly the genetic and acquired
causes of hypertension in the hope of eliminating this high risk for cardiovascular
"We are very proud of Dr. Curt Sigmund and his colleagues for developing
this program as a model of interdepartmental research and for achieving the
highest ranking among national centers in hypertension research," said
Francois M. Abboud, Edith King Professor and Head of the UI Department of
Internal Medicine. "Dr. Sigmund's outstanding leadership of this center
continues a strong tradition of state-of-the-art research in hypertension,
which began under the directorship of Dr. Michael J. Brody and Dr. Allyn L.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between
the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient
care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.