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Biomarkers in Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction

Sept. 13, 2012

Scientists from the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and Froedtert Hospital received a one-year, $50,000 grant from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin (CTSI) to study a specific type of heart failure and to identify biomarkers that might allow clinicians to diagnose and treat earlier.

The project, “Biomarkers in Diastolic Dysfunction/Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction,” is led by primary investigator Jennifer Strande, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine at MCW, and cardiologist at Froedtert Hospital. The co-primary investigator is Shama Mirza, Ph.D., assistant professor of biochemistry at MCW.

Half of patients with heart failure have a preserved left ventricular ejection fraction. Having a normal or preserved ejection faction means the heart contracts normally. Heart failure develops in these patients because the ventricles are stiffer and do not relax normally which means less blood enters the heart. If less blood is entering the heart, then less blood is pushed out of the heart. There is no effective treatment for this specific diagnosis. The focus of this work will be to identify biomarkers that contribute to cardiac dysfunction in these patients, which potentially would allow clinicians to diagnose and intervene before irreversible cardiac damage occurs.

This is one of 19 pilot projects being funded in 2012 through CTSI. The goal is to create synergy through collaboration, and studies are specifically designed to lead to major future research support. The projects explore findings that have the potential to be translated into clinical practice and community health, and are led by investigators at the CTSI’s eight partnering institutions: the Medical College of Wisconsin, Marquette University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, UW-Milwaukee, Froedtert Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, the VA Medical Center, and the BloodCenter of Wisconsin.

CTSI is part of a national consortium of top medical research institutions. Working together, the CTSI institutions are committed to improve human health by streamlining science, transforming training environments and improving the conduct, quality and dissemination of clinical and translational research. The CTSI program is led by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Support for the Pilot Award Program comes from the National Institutes of Health, the John and Jeanne Byrnes CTSI Award, and both MCW’s Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin program, and MCW’s Biotechnology and Bioengineering Center.
 

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