MSU cardiovascular researchers to receive $400K in stimulus funds

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Professors from Michigan State University (MSU) have received nearly $400,000 for cardiovascular research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The funding will help to preserve and create jobs in Michigan, while also investing in medical research, according to Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.

Narayanan Parameswaran, PhD, an assistant professor in MSU's department of physiology, received $375,141 for his research on the molecular aspects in the development of chronic diseases. His work focuses on atherosclerosis.

"Understanding how atherosclerosis develops is an important question in cardiovascular medicine, because if we understand the ‘how', then we can eventually use that information to develop therapeutic drugs to prevent or treat this disease," he said.

Parameswaran's study focuses on how the GRK2 protein affects the development of atherosclerosis. The research will help determine if the protein can be targeted for drug development in the treatment of atherosclerosis and other chronic diseases. 

Gregory D. Fink, PhD, a professor in the department of pharmacology and toxicology, received $17,632 for a research project on hypertension, which is in its seventh year. Fink will use the money to have a student work in a colleague's laboratory on a project that will examine the causes of high blood pressure. Specifically, researchers will look at how a high-salt diet affects the arteries and veins in the gastrointestinal system, Fink said.

The money announced June 2 was part of $2.7 million in NIH funding that went to six institutions statewide. MSU has about 150 grant applications pending as part of the ARRA and expects to hear on other awards soon.