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Dr. Heather Himburg Receives $3M Contract to Advance ACE Inhibitor Therapy for Treatment of Radiation Toxicity

Heather Himburg, PhD, associate professor of radiation oncology, was awarded a three-year, $3 million contract from the NIH/NIAID Radiation Nuclear Countermeasures Program to perform advanced drug development of the ACE inhibitor lisinopril for treatment of radiation toxicity to the lung and kidneys. The study is designed to address the unmet need for emergency medical countermeasures for radiation-induced normal tissue toxicity to late-responding tissues such as the lung and kidney.

Dr. Himburg’s work builds on decades of ACE-inhibitor research in the MCW Radiation Oncology program from the labs of the late Dr. John Moulder and Professor Emeritus Dr. Meetha Medhora. This new contract will leverage a novel multi-organ radiation injury model developed at MCW by radiation biology program director Brian Fish. The Himburg group will conduct efficacy, pharmacokinetics and mechanism of action studies intended to advance ACE inhibitor lisinopril for FDA approval as an emergency medical countermeasure. This work will be supported by MCW collaborators Dr. Sarah Kerns, Dr. Aniko Szabo, Dr. Eenas Omari, and Dr. Yuri Sheinin.