April 05, 2006

School of Medicine, Clinic, UH collaboration receives $13.5 million NIH grant to research molecular causes of blood clots

New center one of only three receiving funding

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Researchers at the Case Western Reserve University (Case) School of Medicine, the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals of Cleveland will join together to study the cellular and genetic causes of blood clots in a new Center for Thrombosis Research, made possible by a $13.5 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health.

The center, to be based at the Clinic's Lerner Research Institute (LRI), is one of only three to receive funding from the NHLBI. The other grant recipients were the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.

"This center is another example of how our strong collaborations among our laboratory researchers and clinical investigators at Cleveland Clinic, Case and University Hospitals have resulted in a highly competitive national award coming to Cleveland," said Paul E. DiCorleto, Ph.D., chair of the LRI and a professor of molecular medicine in the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University (Lerner College), a program of the Case School of Medicine.

The five-year Specialized Center for Clinically Oriented Research grant was received by a research team led by Roy Silverstein, M.D., who chairs the Clinic's Department of Cell Biology, is vice chair of translational research at the LRI, and is a professor of molecular medicine in the Lerner College program. Silverstein will be the new center's principal investigator. The other project leaders:

  • Kandice Marchant, M.D., Ph.D., of the Clinic's Department of Laboratory Medicine, a professor of pathology in the Lerner College program, and a triple alumna of Case (master's, medical and doctoral degrees);
  • Keith McCrae, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at the Case School of Medicine and part of the division of hematology and oncology in the Department of Medicine at University Hospitals of Cleveland;
  • Thomas McIntyre, Ph.D., of the Clinic's Department of Cell Biology and a professor of molecular medicine in the Lerner College program;
  • Edward Plow, Ph.D., chair of the LRI's Department of Molecular Cardiology and a professor of molecular medicine in the Lerner College program; and
  • Eric Topol, M.D., a professor of genetics at the Case School of Medicine.

"Arterial thrombosis, or blood clots, is the leading cause of heart attacks and stroke," Silverstein said. "What we learn by way of this grant could benefit patients for years to come."

The grant will fund five separate research projects and will support the LRI's Research Core Services, providing centralized services for genetics, statistics, cell and molecular analysis, and clinical research. Leading the Research Core Services:

  • John Barnard, Ph.D., of Cleveland Clinic Quantitative Health Sciences;
  • Clemencia Colmenares, Ph.D., co-director of LRI's Research Core Services;
  • Gary Francis, M.D., of the Clinic's Department of Cardiovascular Medicine and a professor of medicine in the Lerner College program; and
  • Qing Wang, Ph.D., of the LRI's Department of Molecular Cardiology and an associate professor of molecular medicine in the Lerner College program.

Silverstein said he anticipates the need to hire technical staff and postdoctoral fellows to assist with the research.

"During the last 30 years, we've learned a lot about thrombosis and how blood platelets function and how proteins assemble to form clots," Silverstein said. "This program intends to build on that knowledge to translate laboratory-based discoveries to clinical relevance. Connecting laboratory and clinical research on arterial thrombosis makes this a unique research enterprise."

The LRI, in addition to serving as the home to all laboratory-based research at the Cleveland Clinic, is an integral part medical student experience at the Lerner College.

For more information: George Stamatis 216-368-3635.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, April 5, 2006 10:49 AM | News Topics: Grants, Healthcare, Research, School of Medicine

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