Colo. – A team of physicians and scientists led by a
pulmonologist at the University of Colorado School of Medicine at the Anschutz
Medical Campus has been awarded an $10.2 million, four-year federal grant to
support a lung bank that will provide improved research opportunities into the
causes and potential treatments for lung disease.
Geraci, MD, professor of medicine and head of the Division of Pulmonary
Sciences and Critical Care Medicine, will lead the Pulmonary Hypertension
Breakthrough Initiative, which was recently awarded the grant by the National
Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Rubin Tuder, MD, professor of medicine at the
CU School of Medicine, oversees the tissue processing center.
Arterial Hypertension is a lung disease in which blood pressure increases in
the lung’s pulmonary artery, making the heart work harder to pump blood into
the lung. PAH is very rare with an annual incidence of 1 to 2 per million and
occurs more often in women. While some patients have been found to have a
hereditary predisposition to the disease, the cause remains unknown. Pulmonary
Arterial Hypertension is difficult to diagnose and there are limited available
treatments and no cure.
Pulmonary Hypertension Breakthrough Initiative will provide a network of
investigators to enroll patients who, at the time of lung transplantation, will
donate their tissue and cells for future research. With the lung tissue,
researchers are able to develop cell lines from patients affected by pulmonary
hypertension and use the latest research to investigate the genetic and other
causes for the disease.
initiative allows us to take genetic discoveries made in the last 15 years and
apply them functionally to patient samples and cells,” Geraci said.
“Ultimately, our goals are more effective treatments, prevention, and a cure.”
said the grant extends a project that was initially established in 2006 by the
nonprofit Cardiovascular Medical Research and Education Fund, which has
supported Drs. Geraci and Tuder with $3.2 million. The project relied on
the active participation of a network of university-based sites with extensive
expertise in providing clinical care, lung transplants, pathology, genetics,
genomics and cell isolation.
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