Atherosclerosis Affinity Group
The Cardiovascular Center has initiated AFFINITY GROUPS to stimulate and foster greater interaction and collaborations between CVC investigators and other investigators from MCW departments and outside institutions, such as Marquette University, the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and the University of Georgia.
This group, comprised of Daisy Sahoo, PhD, and Kirkwood Pritchard, PhD, fosters collaborative work to improve the content of grants. The research conducted in the participating laboratories is summarized here.
Dr. Sahoo’s laboratory studies high density lipoproteins (HDL, also known as “good cholesterol”), which transport cholesterol from sites of accumulation (e.g. arteries) to the liver for excretion. Scavenger receptor BI (SR-BI) is a protein that binds HDL, and our research is designed to understand how SR-BI mediates the uptake of cholesterol from HDL into the liver for efficient breakdown of cholesterol and its subsequent removal from the body. Determining first how the structural organization of SR-BI can facilitate this movement of cholesterol and, second, the detailed mechanisms for the actual process of cholesterol breakdown may help us identify novel therapeutic strategies for treating conditions such as hypercholesterolemia (extremely high cholesterol levels) or atherosclerosis (massive cholesterol buildup within the arteries).
Dr. Pritchard’s laboratory studies the mechanisms by which chronic inflammation and oxidative stress impair vascular function and induce disease. A major focus is on the mechanisms by which inflammation and oxidative stress increase pro-inflammatory HDL, which is dysfunctional, and the subsequent effects this dysfunctional HDL has on vascular endothelial cell function. This lab investigates how oxidative enzymes alter HDL and impair vascular endothelial cell nitric oxide and superoxide anion balance. To increase the translational aspect of its basic science studies, this lab routinely targets different pathways for new drug development. It has co-developed three peptide drugs that show promise for clinical studies for the treatment of vascular disease mediated by myeloperoxidase. The lab’s new drugs represent novel experimental approaches or specifically targeting different pathways of inflammation and oxidation that can be used to delineate novel mechanisms in vascular disease.
Cardiovascular Annual Report 2010
Contact the CVC for additional information