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Medical College of Wisconsin and Cellular Dynamics Awarded NHLBI Grant Using Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Date:7/5/2011

MADISON, Wis., July 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) today announced receipt of a research grant award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to investigate the mechanisms underlying Left Ventricular Hypertrophy.  Commonly known as an increase of the size and weight of the heart, Left Ventricular Hypertrophy is a common and major risk factor for heart disease and heart failure due to high blood pressure or diabetes.  The MCW and CDI will use the grant funds, totalling $6.255,632 million over five years, to generate 250 induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines from blood samples drawn from Caucasian and African-American families in the Hypertension Genetic Epidemiology Network (HyperGEN). All of these families have an elevated burden of high blood pressure and are at significant risk for cardiovascular disease. The iPSC lines will then be differentiated into ventricular heart cells for use in experiments to better understand the genetic mechanisms underlying this disease.

iPSCs are created from adult cells, such as blood or skin, which are reverse engineered to a stem cell state, from which point they can turn into any cell type in the body. iPSCs can be made from any individual and avoid the political and ethical issues surrounding embryonic stem cells.

An increase of the weight of the heart is a common precursor of serious disorders including myocardial infarction and congestive heart failure. This grant will enable researchers to improve future methods for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of these conditions.  

HyperGEN involves scientists from six universities and the NHLBI who seek to identify the genetic contributions to hy
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