The University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Pathology has received multiple R01 grants from the National Institutes of Health totaling more than $15 million in research funding.
Each grant will begin this year and continue through the next three to five years.
“This robust influx of funding reflects the caliber and commitment of our faculty to advance pathology through clinical and translational research,” said George Netto, the Robert and Ruth Anderson endowed chair in the Department of Pathology.
The grants will fund research on ZTTK Syndrome, alcohol-related liver disease, Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, heart failure and inflammatory bowel disease.
ZTTK, or Zhu-Tokita-Takenouchi-Kim Syndrome, is a rare disease in children that is characterized by intellectual disability, delayed motor-psycho development and multi-organ anomalies caused by mutations of the SON gene. Erin Ahn, associate professor in the Division of Molecular and Cellular Pathology, received $2 million towards her work studying the SON protein and gene.
Shannon Bailey, a professor in the Division of Molecular and Cellular Pathology, has received a $2.35 million grant to study alcohol-related liver disease and how alcohol disrupts liver mitochondrial function.
Shu Chen, the Ona Faye-Petersen endowed professor in the Division of Neuropathology, has received $3.67 million to research how skin or bodily fluid-based biomarkers can be used to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia early on, allowing for earlier treatment.
Robin Hatton, an associate professor in the Division of Anatomic Pathology, and Casey Weaver, the Wyatt and Susan Haskell endowed chair for medical excellence, are studying IL-10, an anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory protein, to determine what signals direct development so that therapeutic targets that limit intestinal pathology in inflammatory bowel disease can be identified.
Selvarangan Ponnazhagan, a professor in the Division of Molecular and Cellular Pathology, has received $1.7million to study the nuclear factor kappa-B ligand, or RANKL, a protein that regulates the production of cytokines. Cytokines cause changes in normal homeostatis of the skeletal and immune systems in individuals suffering from breast cancer that has spread throughout bone. Understanding RANKL can lead to the development of targeted therapies.
Adam Wende, an associate professor in the Division of Molecular and Cellular Pathology, has received $2.3 million to continue studying PDK2 and PDK4, proteins that are expressed in the heart that can help improve (PDK2) and worsen (PDK4) heart failure.