Drs. Anne Kwitek & Rory Fisher receive AHA Grant-in-Aid awards

Dr. Anne Kwitek, an Associate Professor in the Departments of Pharmacology and Internal Medicine, and the Associate Director of the Iowa Institute of Human Genetics, has been awarded an American Heart Association Grant in Aid entitled: “Novel transcriptome regulation in the LH rat model of the Metabolic Syndrome.” Dr. Kwitek’s research combines genetics, genomics, and computational approaches to identify genes and pathways involved in the metabolic syndrome. The aim of this project is to determine the role of a novel gene in the genetic regulation of liver gene expression in a rat model of metabolic syndrome. RGD1562963 has no known function in the rat or in other organisms. Identifying the role of this gene in liver gene regulation and the effects of its dysfunction in the metabolic syndrome in the rat model may lead to a new mechanism causing the disease in humans. Dr. Matthew Potthoff, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology is a co-investigator on the project.

Dr. Rory A. Fisher, a Professor in the Departments of Pharmacology and Internal Medicine, has received a Grant-In-Aid Award from the American Heart Association.  The project entitled “RGS6 as a Master Mediator of Oxidative Heart Damage” is funded for 2 years beginning in July, 2014.  The studies in this project will determine how RGS6 mediates apoptosis leading to loss of ventricular function by serving as an essential upstream mediator of two pro-apoptotic kinases, CaMKII and ATM, in a novel RGS6-CaMKII/ATM oxidation-apoptosis signaling cascade.  The project seeks to provide mechanistic insight into the critical causative role for RGS6 in the pathogenesis of hypertrophy and heart failure using innovative mouse genetic models, isolated cardiac cells and cellular/molecular biological approaches.