Indian researcher’s heart disease project gets $400,000 boost

Washington, Sep 12 (IANS) An Indian-American researcher at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) has received a $423,485 grant from the National Institutes of Health for his project related to ischemic heart disease, a media report said.

The grant will give a boost to the project led by Krishna Singh, professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Quillen College of Medicine and physiologist at the Quillen VA Medical Centre, to study the role of a protein called ATM, or ataxia telangiectasia mutated kinase, in ischemic heart disease, reported on Friday.

“The aim of this research is to identify a link between ATM and ischemic heart disease, and to understand why ATM deficient patients are more susceptible to ischemic heart disease,” Singh was quoted as saying.

Mutations in the ATM gene cause a rare genetic disorder known as Ataxia-telangiectasia, or A-T, which affects multiple organs in the body and leads to severe disability.

Individuals carrying both copies of the mutated ATM gene die in their teens or early 20s. Patients with one normal and one mutated copy of the ATM gene are spared from most of the symptoms of the disease. However, they are more susceptible to cancer and ischemic heart disease.

The study will focus on examining the role of ATM in heart muscle cell death and heart function.

Singh also holds a VA Merit Review Award from the Department of Veterans Affairs for nearly $1 million to study the role of a protein called osteopontin in heart disease.

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