DETROIT — A senior staff scientist and his team at Henry Ford Hospital have been awarded a five-year, $12.4 million grant by the National Institutes of Health for their research into the damaging effects of high blood pressure on various organs in the body.
Hypertension is a major public health issue in the United States with an estimated 75 million Americans with the disease, which can also contribute to other major health problems such as heart attack and stroke.
Oscar A. Carretero, MD, of Henry Ford’s Hypertension and Vascular Research Division, is investigating how autacoids, which are small molecules and hormones produced by various cells in the body, regulate kidney function and blood pressure, leading to hypertension and tissue and organ damage.
Although these biological substances and hormones generally affect cells next to, or near where they are secreted, they can be transported through the bloodstream. Carretero’s research is investigating how, when this happens, they can damage distant tissue and organs. In particular, the various projects are examining the mechanisms by which various autacoids either exacerbate or reduce the pro-hypertensive effects of the hormone angiotensin II.
“I am very proud and grateful to my research team,” Carretero said when he learned of the award. “This project took a lot of teamwork and all of the members deserve credit. They worked very hard under a lot of pressure to make this grant possible.”
The NIH grant will provide $2.5 million each year for five years to fund four related projects. Carretero, who is the principal investigator, also heads two of the projects.
Besides Carretero, key among the 18 people involved in the scientific and administrative functions of the grant are Henry Ford’s Pamela Harding, PhD; Jeff Garvin, PhD; Xiao-Ping Yang, MD.; Ed Shesely, PhD; and Ed Peterson, PhD.
This research proposal began in 1982 and will now continue through the end of January 2018, continuing NIH funding for 35 years.