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MCW Researcher to Focus on Blood Clot Prevention

June 29, 2013

The Medical College of Wisconsin has received a four year, $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to study a protein associated with thrombosis, or blood clots. Thrombosis is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States.

Roy L. Silverstein, MD, the Linda and John Mellowes Professor and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), is the primary investigator of the grant.

Thrombosis is reported in two million patients every year in the United States, but physicians believe the diagnosis is hugely underreported. Causes include prolonged immobility, trauma, and a genetic predisposition to clotting; also smoking, pregnancy, and cancer are related to the development of blood clots.

Blood abnormalities that affect the platelets and cause clotting are generated in some chronic inflammatory diseases such as diabetes and atherosclerosis. In this project, Dr. Silverstein will identify and characterize the mechanisms by which this occurs, specifically focusing on a protein called CD36.

Identifying the way platelets respond to inflammatory mediators could lead to new therapeutic interventions to prevent thrombosis.

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