Symons, John David, PhD
Mechanisms whereby endogenous ceramide impairs eNOS signaling and arterial function
Type of Grant: Basic Science
Project Start Date: January 1, 2012
Project End Date: December 31, 2014
What area of diabetes research does your project cover? What role will this particular project play in preventing, treating and/or curing diabetes?
The area of research that this project is concerned with is vascular complications associated with diabetes. The focus of the research is to determine mechanisms responsible for diabetes-related vascular dysfunction. By gaining mechanistic insight into how diabetes related vascular dysfunction occurs, therapeutic / pharmacological treatments can be designed to help ameliorate the dysfunction.
If a person with diabetes were to ask you how your project will help them in the future, how would you respond?
A person with diabetes might have one or a combination of the following: 1) low vision; 2) cold limbs; 3) erectile dysfunction; 4) poor wound healing; 5) limb pain upon exertion i.e., exercise intolerance. All of these are symptomatic, at least in part, of poor circulation. Poor circulation can result from an inability of blood vessels to function properly. My laboratory is trying to elucidate the mechanisms that cause vascular dysfunction in individuals with diabetes.
Why is it important for you, personally, to become involved in diabetes research? What role will this award play in your research efforts?
This award is extremely important to my research efforts. In my laboratory we use isolated blood vessels and cultured endothelial cells to determine molecular mechanisms… and then attempt to translate these findings to intact organisms. It is an extremely expensive and labor intensive process. As such, without the money from the donors to perform the experiments, the progress toward cure / understanding the disease process in general, and diabetes-related vascular dysfunction in particular, cannot move forward. I am extremely grateful to those who have donated funds so that I can help contribute toward this progress.
In what direction do you see the future of diabetes research going?
Diabetes research will continue to move forward toward understanding the causes and cures of this prevalent disease. Better model systems and genetic insight from population data bases / gene banks will help identify new therapeutic targets. I look forward to being part of the process and hope to contribute importantly during the tenure of my award.
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