CLEVELAND: Two internationally recognized medical research leaders from University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have received Outstanding Investigator Awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The 7-year, $6.7 million dollar awards, which are the highest honor and largest individual support grants conferred by the NIH, will advance promising molecular studies of colon cancer and age-related cardiovascular risks, respectively.
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NHLBI Outstanding Investigator Award: Mukesh K. Jain, MD
The NIH describes the NHLBI Outstanding Investigator Award as a highly competitive award that promotes scientific productivity and innovation by providing long-term support and increased flexibility to principal investigators conducting heart, lung, blood and sleep research.
Awardee Mukesh K. Jain, MD, is a practicing cardiologist who is internationally renowned for the identification of a family of proteins, known as Kruppel-like factors (KLFs), as key regulators of immunity and metabolism. His work defined KLFs as essential determinants of nutrient availability and utilization in physiology (fasting, exercise, circadian biology) and disease (myopathy, metabolic syndrome). Studies focused on the immune system have provided insights into acute (bacterial infection) and chronic inflammatory states (atherothrombosis). Finally, he established KLFs as essential regulators of cardiovascular health and stress adaptation. He has translated this body of work into animals and humans, efforts that have garnered significant recognition including recent election to the National Academy of Medicine.
Dr. Jain’s recent findings, which serve as the basis of this new award, suggest that KLF proteins exert control over lifespan and general health from worms to mammals, including humans. This award from the NHLBI will support investigations to determine which KLFs are linked to aging and to understand how manipulating specific KLFs impacts cardiovascular health and age-associated disease. Ultimately this work may succeed in providing a foundation for novel therapies targeted to delay or prevent the onset and progression of age-related disorders.
“Mukesh’s lifelong commitment to investigating the molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular diseases has led to discoveries that forever changed how we think about many fundamental biological processes that affect human health and aging,” said Marco Costa, MD, PhD, President, Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, UH Cleveland Medical Center and Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine. “Receiving this prestigious award is an acknowledgement of the breadth and depth of his work, and our promise to a healthier future for humankind.”
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