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Keck Funds UC-Davis Coronary Disease SNP Study

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Researchers at the University of California, Davis have reeled in a $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to study genetic variants that may be involved in some cases of coronary artery disease.

The grant to principal investigator David Segal, a professor in the UC Davis Department of Pharmacology, will fund research to assess the impact of various SNP sequences on endothelial cells, which form a link between circulating blood and vascular tissues. These cells behave differently in patients with coronary artery disease and enable plaques to accumulate and increase risk of coronary artery disease.

Segal and collaborators in the UC Davis Stem Cell Program will collaborate to identify molecular pathways that could be useful as potential drug targets.

"It's common to consider coronary artery disease a lifestyle disease," Segal said in a statement, "yet we know that people with similar eating, exercise and smoking habits do not necessarily have similar risks. Our work is bringing more certainty to the molecular changes that actually put the cellular interactions into motion that lead to this disease."

The grant was funded by the Keck Foundation's medical research program.

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