The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health recently awarded Chris Baines, PhD, a five-year, $1,865,250 grant. Baines is an assistant professor of biomedical sciences at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine and an investigator at the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center.
Baines’ research studies proteins that regulate an entity known at the mitochondrial permeability transition pore. Opening of this pore causes mitochondrial dysfunction and ultimately cell death, and it has been shown to lead to cardiac disease.
The grant-funded research will study a negative regulator of the mitochondrial pore called C1qbp and a positive regulator called GSK3b and how they modulate cardiac cell death, both in cultured cells and in genetically modified mice.
“By understanding the proteins that regulate the mitochondrial pore, and the mechanisms by which they do so, therapeutic agents can be developed that target these proteins for the treatment of cardiac disease in patients,” Baines said.