Kafait Malik Studies Nervous System Interactions with Cardiovascular, Kidney Function, Hypertension
Memphis, Tenn. (May 17, 2013) – Achieving the right balance isn’t always easy but, in medicine, it’s often crucial. Studying the imbalance of the
neuro-hormonal and immune system is helping one researcher decipher its connection to elevated blood pressure, associated heart and vascular dysfunction,
and kidney damage.
Kafait U. Malik, PhD, professor of Pharmacology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), wants to understand more about how the
nervous system, hormones and the immune system interact to regulate cardiovascular and kidney function, and the development of high blood pressure
(hypertension). The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recently awarded Dr. Malik a $2,854,304
grant to support his research for the next five years. For the past 37 years, his work in the cardiovascular sciences has been consistently funded.
“The success of all the research work conducted in my laboratory for the past 37 years has been due to the efforts of former and current postdoctoral
fellows, and graduate, medical, undergraduate and high school students, to whom I am highly indebted,” Dr. Malik said.
Cardiovascular disease is the foremost cause of death in modern societies, and hypertension is the leading cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
According to recent American Heart Association statistics, in the United States 76.4 million (33.5 percent) individuals equal to or greater than 20 years
of age are hypertensive, and more than 70 percent of patients who suffer a heart attack, stroke or congestive heart failure are hypertensive. Moreover,
hypertension is a major risk factor for ischemic heart disease and renal failure. Clearly, physicians need better approaches to prevent
hypertension-related morbidity and mortality.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) provides global leadership for a research, training, and education program to promote the prevention
and treatment of heart, lung, and blood diseases and enhance the health of all individuals so that they can live longer and more fulfilling lives. NHLBI is
one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s medical research agency, which includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a
component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and
translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH
and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.
[Research supported by NHLBI of the NIH under award number 2R01HL019134-38. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not
necessarily represent the official views of NIH.]
As Tennessee’s only public, statewide academic health system, the mission of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) is to bring the
benefits of the health sciences to the achievement and maintenance of human health, with a focus on the citizens of Tennessee and the region, by pursuing
an integrated program of education, research, clinical care, and public service. Offering a broad range of postgraduate and selected baccalaureate training
opportunities, the main UTHSC campus is located in Memphis and includes six colleges: Allied Health Sciences, Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences,
Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. UTHSC also educates and trains cohorts of medicine, pharmacy and/or allied health students — in addition to medical
residents and fellows — at its major sites in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Nashville. Founded in 1911, during its more than 100 years, UT Health Science
Center has educated and trained more than 56,000 health care professionals in academic settings and health care facilities across the state. For more
information, visit www.uthsc.edu.