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LIAI launches new division to look at novel approaches to heart disease and inflammation
Date:9/29/2008

disease, said inflammation caused by the immune system is also an important participant in plaque formation and weakening of the artery wall. As such, it offers a whole new therapeutic avenue for potential ways to combat heart disease.

Prior to joining the Institute, Ley was director of the Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Virginia, where he oversaw the efforts of the Center's faculty while also conducting his own research program. Ley was recently selected as the 2008 recipient of the prestigious Marie T. Bonazinga Research Award from the Society for Leukocyte Biology. Ley will receive the award in November in recognition for his work illuminating the basic cellular mechanisms underlying inflammation, particularly as it relates to heart disease.

Mark Ginsberg, M.D., a distinguished professor of medicine at UC San Diego and member of the University's new Institute of Engineering in Medicine, which Ley recently joined as an adjunct faculty member, said he is delighted to welcome someone of Ley's achievements as a colleague.

"Klaus' extraordinary contributions to our understanding of inflammation in the vessel wall are a superb complement to existing strengths at UCSD in biomedical engineering, vessel wall biology and other areas related to cardiovascular disease," said Ginsberg, a prominent vascular biology researcher. "LIAI has shown great vision in recruiting Klaus to lead a program to bridge immunology to cardiovascular disease."

In the 1980s, Ley said immunology's role in heart disease first came to light when immunology researchers found that plaque buildup in the arteries also contained inflammation-causing T cells of the immune system. "This opened up the possibility that the inflammatory process was important in heart disease," said Ley. Further study found that inflammatory T cells not only contributed to plaque formation, but they also played a key role in the rupture of the art
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Contact: Bonnie Ward
contact@liai.org
619-303-3160
La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology
Source:Eurekalert

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