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Marshall School of Medicine researchers to present findings at American Heart Association meeting

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Researchers fromMarshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, in collaboration with international partners in China and Italy and colleagues in the United States, will present their findings at the 2013 American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure Research Scientific Sessions later this week in New Orleans.

“We are very pleased that all eight of our research abstracts were accepted for presentation at this world-class conference,” said Nader G. Abraham, Ph.D., Dr. H.C., FAHA, vice dean for research at the School of Medicine. “Marshall is truly expanding its medical research footprint and is being recognized at the international level.”

In making the announcement, Abraham said research from Marshall scientists and clinicians includes findings on heart disease, obesity, fatty liver, and hypertension. 

“Much of our research here at Marshall is focused on the issues that plague our population in West Virginia and really the entire Appalachian region,” Abraham said. “For instance, the project that the dean, Joseph Shapiro, and I have been working on with researchers from Beijing and the National Institute of Environmental Health Science in North Carolina has found that there are small, special fatty acids that can improve heart attack mediated damage to prevent further damage, which may eventually lead to developments in new therapies and prevention.”

The following is a list of the abstracts that will be presented in New Orleans:

  • EET Agonist Improves Cardiac Energy Metabolism and Heart Function by Regulating Fatty Acid Oxidation and Oxidative Stress in Infarcted Myocardium, presented by Jian Cio, Chinese PLA General Hospital in Beijing in collaboration with  Joseph I. Shapiro, M.D. and Nader G. Abraham, Ph.D., Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.
  • CYP2J2 Targeting to Endothelial Cells Attenuates Adiposity and Vascular Dysfunction in Mice Fed a High Fat Diet by Reprogramming Adipocyte Phenotype, presented by Dr. Abraham in collaboration with Marshall researchers Komal Sodhi, M.D.,Ph.D., Anne M. Silvis, Ph.D., and Shapiro. This study was the first to demonstrate that targeting the vascular endothelium (small cells that line the circulatory system) with human gene CYP2J2 in mice fed a high-fat diet actually decreased the fat and vascular dysfunction and improved metabolic parameters.
  • Enhanced VEGF and ETS-1 Recruitment by T Reg-Heme Oxygenase-1 Module Increases Blood Flow in Post-infarction Myocardium in SCID Mice, presented by Marshall cardiologist Ellen Thompson, M.D., along with Marshall researchers Robert Touchon, M.D., Larry Dial, M.D., Abraham and Shapiro.  This poster presentation shows the beneficial role of the human gene heme oxygenase-1 in improving heart function and blood flow in immunodeficient mice after heart attack.
  • Heme Oxygenase-1-mediated PPARδ Improves Cardiac Fibrosis and Inflammation in SCID Mice Via Induction of T Reg Cells, presented by Marshall researcher Robert Touchon, M.D., in collaboration with MU researchers Thompson, Sodhi, Dial, Abraham and Shapiro.  This research is looking at the role of heme oxygenase-1 in improving kidney function in immunodeficient mice.
  • Body Mass Index Exacerbates the Hypertension Mediated Increase in Endothelial Cell Sloughing and Suppression of Antioxidant Heme Oxygenase-1, presented by Marshall physician-researcher Ryan Stone, M.D. with Marshall researchers, David Chaffin, M.D., David Jude, M.D., Zeid Khitan, M.D., Dong Hyun Kim, Ph.D., Imran T. Khawaja, M.D., Abraham and Shapiro.  Research is already available that shows being overweight (BMI >25) increases the risk for hypertension – but the mechanism for this development is unclear. This project is studying biomarkers in the bloodstream that contribute to vascular dysfunction.
  • Targeting Endothelial Cells with HO-1 Attenuated Vascular and Adipocyte Dysfunction in Mice Fed High Fat Diet,  presented by Marshall School of Medicine research assistant Morghan S. Getty with Marshall collaborators Kim and Abraham looks at the role of heme oxygenase-1 in reducing obesity in mice fed a high-fat diet.
  • HMOX1 Ameliorates Fatty Liver and Metabolic Syndrome by Reduction of Hepatic Heme and PGC1α, presented by Marshall researcher Sodhi along with Marshall collaborators, Wade G. Douglas, M.D., Imran T. Khawaja, M.D., Dial, Shapiro and Abraham.   This abstract reviews the beneficial effects of heme oxygenase-1 in reducing non-alcoholic fatty liver, a condition marked by the accumulation of fat in the liver.
  • PPAR-δ Binding to Heme Oxygenase 1 Promoter Prevents Angiotensin II Induced Vascular and Adipocyte Dysfunction in a Model of Renovascular Hypertension, presented by Sodhi with fellow Marshall researchers, Zeid Khitan, M.D., Dial, Shapiro and Abraham.   This research is studying the beneficial effects of heme oxygenase-1 in reducing obesity and hypertension.

Date Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2013