The Myocarditis Foundation is pleased to announce that it will be funding a research fellowship grant for the 2015/16 grant cycle. The Myocarditis Foundation will be funding a research grant awarded to Dr. Michael Bode of the University of North Carolina in the amount of $35,000. Dr. Bode is under the mentorship of Dr. Nigel Mackman of the University of North Carolina.
The Myocarditis Foundation, an international non-profit organization founded in 2005, is dedicated to increasing awareness and hastening progress in understanding this rare disease. Myocarditis is a disease that is marked by inflammation and scarring of the heart muscle, which can progress rapidly to heart failure and death or heart transplantation.
The Myocarditis Foundation announced in its third quarter of 2014 that it was accepting grant applications until December 2014. The Myocarditis Foundation’s international Medical Advisory Board, made up of leading myocarditis researchers from around the world, voted to award a fellowship grant to Dr. Bode after selecting his application from a distinguished field of candidates.
Dr. Bode’s research project is titled “Role of PAR-1 in a Mouse Model of Viral Myocarditis” Below is a layman’s summary of his research:
“It is estimated that myocarditis causes up to 20% of sudden death in adults less than 40 years of age, and Coxsackievirus B3 is considered to be one of the most important causes of myocarditis. I am trying to better understand the mechanisms that protect the heart from viral myocarditis. In particular, I am going to identify the role of the blood coagulation system in the regulation of the immune response against viral myocarditis. We have previously shown that a protein called PAR-1 that gets activated by the clotting system plays an important role in protecting mice from Coxsackievirus B3 infection. I recently found that especially PAR-1 in cardiomyocytes, which are the cells in the heart that are contracting, plays an important role in protecting the heart from the virus. I would now like to understand the pathways inside the cells that lead to protection, by doing cell culture experiments with cardiomyocytes. This will involve stimulating the cells with a PAR-1 activator to see if this causes them to produce proteins that can protect the cells from the virus. I will also add inhibitors of different pathways to examine which pathway is most important. In addition, I will use mice that are lacking PAR-1 in cardiomyocytes to observe the effects of the virus infection in the absence of PAR-1. I expect these mice to be sicker, to have a worse heart function, and to produce less proteins that protect them from the virus. By understanding the mechanism of viral myocarditis in detail, we may be able to improve the current therapy or establish novel therapies to protect the heart from viral infections..” – Summary by Dr. Bode
The Myocarditis Foundation is honored to work with Dr. Bode and the University of North Carolina, furthering the expansion of myocarditis research. It is the Foundation’s goal to build a greater understanding of the disease and find better ways to diagnose, treat, and ultimately prevent myocarditis from taking more lives.
The Myocarditis Foundation would like to thank all the families, businesses, and organizations that have supported the Foundation in 2014. It is with their generosity and support that these research grants are able to be awarded each year.
For more information regarding the Myocarditis Foundation and its grant program, please visit: myocarditis.viewsamplesite.com.