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Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center at Wake Forest Receives $358,000 Grant

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has received a $358,000 grant from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) to develop new technology to detect indicators of cardiovascular disease.

“Our proposal focused on developing new tools to measure markers of the renin-angiotensin system, a hormonal system known to be elevated in tissue, plasma and urine of individuals with cardiovascular disease,” said Debra I. Diz, Ph.D., director of basic science research programs at the Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center. “This hormonal system is also the target of many medications used to treat high blood pressure.”

The three-year grant was awarded to Diz, principal investigator of the research project and her colleagues Mark C. Chappell, Ph.D., and K. Bridget Brosnihan, Ph.D., also at the Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center, who serve as co-principal investigators of the project.

“We know that some of the components of the renin-angiotensin system are elevated and some reduced in blood or urine of patients or animals with high blood pressure, early stages of atherosclerosis, heart failure and diabetes. Alterations in the components of the system may reflect kidney disease, early vascular disease or heart disease,” said Diz. “Using the tests that we develop, the results will be analyzed for the pattern of changes occurring in each of these types of patients or animals with known disorders. We hope this profile will allow doctors to determine the potential role of the renin-angiotensin system in patients so the most effective therapy for their illness can be used in a timely manner.”

The NCRR is a branch of the National Institutes of Health that supports primary research to create and develop critical resources, models and technologies. NCRR funding also provides biomedical researchers with access to diverse instrumentation, technologies, basic and clinical research facilities, animal models, genetic stocks, biomaterials and more. These resources enable scientific advances in biomedicine that lead to the development of lifesaving drugs, devices and therapies.

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is a health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Serving North Carolina and surrounding states, it operates 1,291 acute care, rehabilitation and long-term care beds. The Medical Center is involved in the training of more than 30,000 health care professionals and scientists each year, and receives more than $140 million annually in outside grants in support of our research mission.


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