Professors Yao Sun and Lu Lu of UTHSC Receive $1.99 Million Grant for Cardiovascular Disease Research

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Drs. Yao Sun (pictured) and Lu Lu  are using a $1.99 million grant to study modifier genes that control the severity of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition that enlarges the heart muscle and causes the walls of the ventricles to thicken and affect blood flow (Photo provided by Dr. Yao Sun/UTHSC)

Yao Sun, MD, PhD, professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases in the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), in a multidisciplinary collaborative effort with Lu Lu, MD, professor in the Department of Genetics, Genomics and Informatics in the College of Medicine at UTHSC, has received a grant totaling $1.99 million to study modifier genes that control the severity of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). With HCM the heart muscle enlarges causing the walls of the ventricles to thicken affecting blood flow.

While the severity of HCM is largely determined by modifier genes, it is poorly understood. “The identification of modifier genes is a crucial research goal in HCM,” said Dr. Sun. “This project is well-suited to successfully identify genes that control clinical expression of HCM. If successful, this research could aide in developing novel strategies for the prevention and treatment of HCM.”

The project is titled, “Genetic Modulation of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Severity.” The funding is from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a subsidiary of the National Institutes of Health, and will be distributed over four years.