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National Institutes of Health Awards $1.5 M Grant to Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has received a $1.5 million grant from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health to study how some menopausal women become sensitive to salt in their diets and develop high blood pressure, heart disease and kidney disease.

The five-year grant will focus on a protein identified at Wake Forest Baptist called ACE2 and its role in salt sensitivity, kidney and heart damage.

“ACE2 is a novel protein that may influence the harmful effects of a high salt diet on the cardiovascular system including an increased incidence of hypertension, kidney damage and heart failure,” said Mark C. Chappell, Ph.D., associate professor of surgical sciences at Wake Forest Baptist and lead researcher in the project.

Internationally recognized, the Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center provides comprehensive care for hypertension and vascular disease, a mobile blood pressure clinic, early screening and management of peripheral artery disease.


Media Contacts: Jim Steele,, Shannon Koontz,, or Karen Richardson,, at 336-716-4587.

About Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center: Wake Forest Baptist is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. The system comprises 1,282 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.

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