Navigation Links
Pitt part of $100 million NHLBI 'Bench to Bassinet' effort in congenital heart disease
Date:11/17/2009

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 17 Developmental biologists at the University of Pittsburgh have been chosen to participate in a $100 million federal "Bench to Bassinet" network that is dedicated to learning about the formation of the cardiovascular system and applying that knowledge to create new diagnostic and intervention strategies for congenital heart disease.

The Pitt team, led by Cecilia Lo, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Developmental Biology, School of Medicine, will use the mouse as a model system to identify and describe the core set of genes that play an essential role in producing structural heart defects, which include holes in the heart walls, transposition of major blood vessels that connect to the heart and other problems of cardiac development that can affect up to 1 percent of live births.

"Ultimately, we want to build a diagnostic chip that can rapidly and accurately identify the genetic root causes of specific heart defects," Dr. Lo explained. "That could enable us to examine how these genes influence disease progression, correlate them with long-term outcomes and better tailor treatment."

To find the genetic determinants of congenital heart disease, her $8.6 million project will expose fetal mice to a chemical that increases the likelihood of gene mutations and use non-invasive fetal echocardiography to spot any heart defects that result. Then the DNA of the affected mice will be examined to identify the gene changes that caused the abnormality. A zebrafish model will be used as a quick bioassay to validate the findings.

Dr. Lo is particularly interested in mutations that affect the function of cilia, which are hair-like projections on cells that are best known for moving fluids along tissue surfaces. "We now know cilia are critical to heart development in the fetus," she said. "For example, they help to correctly orient the heart, which is a left-right asymmetrical organ. This asymmetry is crucial for normal functioning and allows for efficient oxygenation of blood."

One of a handful of similar academic departments nationwide, the Department of Developmental Biology was established in April at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Dr. Lo was named its founding chair.

"As the Bench to Bassinet commitment indicates, the study of fetal organ and tissue development will not only teach us about fundamental biological principles, but also could yield the treatments of the future," said Arthur S. Levine, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine and senior vice chancellor for the health sciences at Pitt. "Dr. Lo's research techniques also can be applied to similar exploration of birth defects in other organ systems."

The Bench to Bassinet program was devised by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Lo's project is in the Cardiovascular Development Consortium, which includes research teams from the University of Utah, Harvard University and the University of California, San Francisco. Another consortium comprising five research centers will focus its work on translational research in pediatric cardiac genomics. Both will work with an existing clinical pediatric heart disease network.

"Congenital heart defects are the most common and life-threatening problem for newborns in the United States," said NHLBI director Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D. "Our Bench to Bassinet research efforts will offer new insights into how the human cardiovascular system develops and help speed the transition of promising laboratory discoveries into treatments that can save young lives."


'/>"/>

Contact: Anita Srikameswaran
SrikamAV@upmc.edu
412-578-9193
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New York Personal Injury Law Firm Cellino & Barnes Wins $3.25 Million Settlement For Workers Injured in Truck Accident
2. Ignite Institute Receives Support from Commonwealth of Virginia, Fairfax County, $200 Million in Initial Funding and Financial Backing, Locks in Key Regional Partner
3. W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grants $32.5 Million to Improve Access to Fresh Food and Physical Activity for Children
4. Prism and Medical College of Wisconsin investigators receive $1.6 million NIH grant to develop advanced medical imaging tools
5. The Ensign Group Secures $40 Million Loan From GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services
6. Prioritizing low-cost, simple health measures would save 2.5 million child lives a year
7. Echo Therapeutics Announces $3 Million Financing
8. 22 Million Sickened by Swine Flu in 6 Months
9. ULURU Inc. to Raise $1.5 Million in Registered Direct Offering
10. Employment Policies Institute Launches $10 Million Campaign Urging the Public to Rethink Health Care Reform
11. House Health Reform Plan Will Benefit Millions of Illinoisans
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking ... American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical ... effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned ... the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at ... fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... A recent article published June 14 on E Online ... on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to undergo not only ... calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly Hills Physicians (BHP) ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants ... grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join ... wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase ... of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the ... 2016 - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... up to date financial data derived from varied research sources ... with potential impact on the market during the next five ... comprises of sub markets, regional and country level analysis. The ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Bracket , a leading clinical trial technology and ... platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at the 52 nd ... 2016 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania.  A demonstration ... of its kind to fully integrate with RTSM, will be ... is a flexible platform for electronic clinical outcomes assessments that ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... and BOGOTA, Colombia , June 23, 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment of ... Farma Brasil as the company,s second affiliate in Latin America . ... ... Manager of Astellas Farma Colombia ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: