Myocardial infarction, better known as an MI or a heart attack, remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide. After patients suffer an MI, they experience a progressive decline in heart function and eventually, heart failure. An MI causes tissue death near the site of the blockage that brought on the heart attack, and the damaged area is difficult to replace, because the heart has a limited potential to repair and replace its tissue.
NEOMED researcher J. Gary Meszaros, Ph.D., has been awarded a three-year grant of $454,800 from the National Institutes of Health to study the critical mechanisms that may help preserve heart tissue after MI injury. The main question that the grant addresses is how reducing levels of type VI collagen (Col6) protects the heart and preserves tissue integrity following MI injury. Dr. Meszaros is also testing a novel pre-clinical therapy targeting Col 6 to improve long-term cardiac function and outcomes.
Dr. Meszaros is part of a heart attack and heart failure team led by William Chilian, Ph.D., in the Heart and Blood Vessel Disease research area at NEOMED. The team also includes Charles Thodeti, Ph.D.; Yeong-Renn Chen, Ph.D.; Vahagn Ohanyan, Ph.D.; Liya Yin, Ph.D.; Priya Raman, Ph.D.; Ian Bratz, Ph.D.; June Yun, Ph.D.; Feng Dong, Ph.D.; Maritza Mayorga, Ph.D.; and Marc Penn, M.D., Ph.D.