PHA Awards $50K to 3 Pediatric PH Researchers to Advance, Mentor Their Work

Patrícia Silva, PhD avatar

by Patrícia Silva, PhD |

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The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) recently announced the three pulmonary hypertension (PH) researchers chosen to receive its 2015 Robyn Barst Pediatric PH Research and Mentoring Awards.

According to a press release, the three $50,000 award winners, whose work will also be mentored for a year, are:

  • David Brian Frank, MD, PhD, an instructor of cardiology at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Frank’s research on mice may provide a better understanding of whether reactivated cells following lung injury can help regenerate lost lung tissue, including blood vessels, and potentially prevent the development of PH in children with a chronic lung disorder. He was awarded the Matthew and Michael Wojciechowski Pediatric PH Research and Mentoring Grant, established by Betty Lou Wojciechowski in honor of her two sons, Matthew and Michael, who lost their lives to PH.

  • Vitaly Oleg Kheyfets, PhD, an assistant research professor of medicine at the University of Colorado Denver/ Anschutz Medical Campus. Dr. Kheyfets is investigating why blood flow-related friction forces are decreased in PH patients. The researcher thinks this work could lead to the development of a blood test able to determine the health of children’s pulmonary arteries. He received the Cordelia’s Pediatric PH Research and Mentoring Grant, established by the Skuldt family in honor of their granddaughter Cordelia.

  • Kara Nicole Goss, MD, an Assistant Professor of pulmonary and critical care at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Goss is studying rats as a model to investigate the long-term risk of PH development or heart failure in premature infants who reach an adult age. She received the Joel Belt Pediatric PH Research and Mentoring Grant, established by the Belt family to honor their son Joel.

The projects conducted by these investigators are designed to advance current understanding into pediatric pulmonary hypertension, and subsequently its treatment, the association said.

With these grants, the PHA has now awarded more than $17 million in research grant commitments. More information on these awards is available through the Named Research Grants Program, and background on the fundraising efforts that make them possible is found in the article, “Fight Back Through Fundraising.

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