A University at Buffalo researcher studying a protein involved in heart failure has received a five-year, $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.
The grant was awarded under the NIH K08 program, which was established to help promising young physician-scientists develop into independent investigators and to aid in filling the academic faculty gap in certain fields. The program builds on the NIH’s KL2 Mentored Career Development Award, which UB received in 2015 along with the prestigious Clinical and Translational Science Award.
Umesh C. Sharma, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB, a physician with UBMD Internal Medicine and a Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Scholar in the Mentored Career Development Program, was granted the award to study a protein called galectin-3.
His hypothesis is that an excess of this protein during a heart attack promotes myocardial inflammation and fibrosis, the formation of fibrous tissue in the heart. His research is focused on finding a way to block the protein so as to inhibit inflammation, reduce fibrosis and preserve cardiac function.