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£1.3M BHF Programme Grant to support research into aortic aneurysms

last modified Aug 03, 2017 12:41 PM

The BHF has awarded Dr Sanjay Sinha and Dr Paul Bertone a £1,270,000 programme grant over five years to identify new therapeutic strategies for genetically-triggered thoracic aortic aneurysm syndromes (Marfan, Loeys-Dietz, Ehlers-Danlos and ACTA2).

Although rupture or dissection of these aneurysms can have catastrophic consequences, there are no specific medical treatments available - likely due to an incomplete understanding of the molecular mechanisms leading to aortic wall weakness.

Dr Sinha's group has pioneered a human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-based in vitro model of Marfan's that recapitulates the aneurysm phenotype and has identified a complex network of signalling defects including p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase as a novel regulator of vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) death.

Using this unique hiPSC-based model of Marfan and other aortic aneurysm syndromes together with murine models, Dr Sinha's and Dr Bertone's groups will determine common disease-causing pathways and identify potential new treatments.

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