NIH awards Loyola researcher $1.3 million grant to study critical heart protein

News Archive January 07, 2011

NIH awards Loyola researcher $1.3 million grant to study critical heart protein

$1.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will fund research that may lead to new therapies to protect heart disease patients.
The National Institutes of Health has awarded a Loyola researcher a $1.3 million grant to study a protein that is critical for the normal functioning of the heart.

Sakthivel Sadayappan, PhD, who was awarded the four-year grant, said research at his lab has shown that  during a heart attack the cardiac myosin binding protein-C breaks into pieces, and this fragmentation coincides with damage to the heart muscle that leads to heart failure.

The grant will fund further research into what happens to the protein, known as cMyBP-C, during a heart attack. This could lead to the development of drugs to protect cMyBP-C following a heart attack, and thereby limit damage to heart muscle, Sadayappan said.

The 40th anniversary of the discovery of cMyBP-C is coming up next year, and scientists still have much to learn about the function of this protein in the heart. The work by Sadayappan's lab could lead to new therapies to improve muscle function in heart failure patients.

"Our long-term goal is to delineate the roles of cMyBP-C protein function in the heart," Dr. Sadayappan said.

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