Assistant Professor Dong Wang of UTHSC Receives $308,000 Grant for Heart Attack Research

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With the help of a $308,000 grant from the American Heart Association, Dr. Dong Wang and his research team will be able to further explore ways to improve the treatment of patients with heart attack and ischemic heart disease.

With the help of a $308,000 grant from the American Heart Association, Dr. Dong Wang and his research team will be able to further explore ways to improve the treatment of patients with heart attack and ischemic heart disease.

Dong Wang, PhD, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), has received a grant totaling $308,000 from the American Heart Association. The award will be used to support a project titled, “The Corin-ANP Axis in Myocardial Infarction and Ischemic Cardiomyopathy.” The award will be distributed over a four-year period.

Heart attack is a serious health issue in the United States. Approximately 15 percent of people who experience a heart attack die within one year. Dr. Wang’s research is aimed at explaining the important role of the Corin-atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) system in heart attack. ANP is a cardiac hormone involved in regulation of blood volume and blood pressure. Corin is a newly discovered enzyme that generates ANP in the heart. Additionally, it has been shown that Corin has a protective role in the development of heart failure. However, whether Corin also influences the outcomes after heart attack and the relationship between Corin and ANP in heart disease is unknown.

Dr. Wang and his research team are trying to understand the functional role of Corin and its correlation with ANP in a rodent heart attack model that mimics human disease. These studies are among the first to define the functional role of Corin in an in vivo model with translational relevance to human cardiovascular disease.

“The dynamic change of Corin observed in our rodent model matches the clinic data from patients who have the similar heart disease,” said Dr. Wang. “Insights into the mechanisms responsible for Corin’s protective effects suggest ways to improve the treatment of patients with heart attack and ischemic heart disease. After discovering the soluble subtype of Corin in physiological conditions, we believe that Corin’s therapeutic potential may eventually be exploited to improve the survival of heart attack patients.”

The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest, largest voluntary organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Founded by six cardiologists in 1924, the organization now includes more than 22.5 million volunteers and supporters working to eliminate these diseases. The organization funds innovative research, fights for stronger public health policies and provides tools and information to save and improve lives. For more information, visit www.heart.org.