NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The National Institutes of Health has awarded a team of Ohio State University researchers a $12.4 million grant to study the genetic basis of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
DCM is characterized by the weakening of heart muscle and enlargement of the left ventricle. The disease has no known cause, although a genetic basis is suspected.
With the NIH funding, researchers at OSU's Dilated Cardiomyopathy Consortium aim to conduct cardiovascular phenotyping of 1,300 DCM patients in the US and up to 5,200 of their family members, specifically including patients of European, African, and Hispanic ancestry.
The investigators, led by OSU's Ray Hershberger, will also sequence the exomes of DCM patients and include the results in a randomized trial in order to improve family-based communication of the genetic risk of the disease, OSU said.
"We believe the new information derived from this study will help physicians understand DCM as a genetic disease," Hershberger said in a statement. "This new insight will help prevent DCM in family members and the morbidity and mortality from heart failure that follows."
Collaborating with OSU in the consortium are researchers from the Baptist Health South Florida, the Cleveland Clinic, Houston Methodist Hospital, MedStar Health, Stanford Health Care, Tufts Medical Center, the University of Maryland Medical Center, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, the University of Pennsylvania Health System, and the University of Washington Medical Center.
Additional collaborators include members of the departments of Genome Sciences and Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Washington and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.