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Medical College of Wisconsin, Cellular Dynamics Win $6.3M NHLBI Grant

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Medical College of Wisconsin and Cellular Dynamics International today announced they have received a five-year, $6.3 million grant to investigate the mechanisms of underlying left ventricular hypertrophy.

The grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute will be used to generate 250 induced pluripotent stem cell lines from blood samples from Caucasian and African-American families in the Hypertension Genetic Epidemiology Network, an effort involving six universities and NHLBI to identify genetic contributions to hypertension.

The families contributing blood samples to be used in the research initiative announced today have an elevated burden of high blood pressure and are at significant risk for cardiovascular disease, the two partners said. The iPSC lines will be differentiated into ventricular heart cells to be used in research to elucidate the genetic mechanisms that underlie cardiovascular disease.

Left ventricular hypertrophy is commonly known as an increase in the size and weight of the heart and is a common precursor of serious disorders, including myocardial infarction and congestive heart failure. The NHLBI grant will allow researchers to improve methods of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of such conditions, the college and Cellular Dynamics said.

"This technology is truly revolutionary since each cell line stands for an individual patient, and we can now start to study the unique disease mechanisms and test new treatments and drugs based on each individual's unique genetic makeup," Ulrich Broeckel, professor of pediatrics, medicine, and physiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin and associate director at the Children's Research Institute, said in a statement.

In the spring, Cellular Dynamics, based in Madison, Wis., announce it had raised $30 million in a Series B round.

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