UAMS lands $3.7 million research grant to study hypertension, high blood pressure

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 127 views 

The National Institutes of Health has awarded an additional $3.7 million to Shengyu Mu, Ph.D., and his team of researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) to continue their groundbreaking study on the role of immune cells in hypertension.

Mu, an associate professor in the UAMS College of Medicine Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, was awarded an initial $1.89 million grant in 2019 to fund his laboratory’s exploration of the link between immune cells and hypertension.

Hypertension remains a leading cause of illness and death worldwide.

During that time, the team made substantial discoveries indicating that immune disorders contribute to high blood pressure, paving the way for the next phase of research.

The five-year grant renewal began with a $685,749 payment in April and is expected to fund a comprehensive series of experiments and advanced analyses over the next five years.

“We are thrilled to receive this continued support from the NIH,” said Mu, a leading expert in hypertension. “Our initial research has provided strong evidence that immune cells play a key role in the development and progression of hypertension. This new funding will allow us to delve even deeper, aiming to identify new therapeutic targets and develop novel strategies to manage hypertension.”

His team includes researchers Yunmeng Liu, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology; Lin-Xi-Li, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology; Lu Huang, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology; John Imig, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy; and key lab members Katherine Deck, Tonya Rafferty and Christoph Mora.

He said the ongoing research has the potential to advance scientific knowledge and translate insights into clinical practice.

“By unraveling the influence of immune cells on hypertension, it could pave the way for new interventions designed to modulate the immune response, potentially offering more effective and personalized treatments for patients,” Mu said.