Research could lead to new treatments for heart disease

November 27, 2013

Dr. Xiaohui Zha has received a $510,000 grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to advance her research on cholesterol metabolism. Cholesterol build-up can cause arteries to narrow and harden (called atherosclerosis), and this can lead to heart attack and stroke. Dr. Zha's research has shown that a protein called ABCA1 (which is found in white blood cells called macrophages) may play a key role in preventing atherosclerosis, both by facilitating cholesterol removal and by dampening inflammation. She will investigate how cholesterol regulates cellular signalling pathways and “primes” macrophages to either dampen or promote inflammation. Chronic inflammation is a major cause of atherosclerosis and many other diseases, so understanding this process could lead to new treatments.

A summary of this project is available in CIHR's Funding Decision Database.

About the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) is the research arm of The Ottawa Hospital and is an affiliated institute of the University of Ottawa, closely associated with the university’s Faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences. OHRI includes more than 1,700 scientists, clinical investigators, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff conducting research to improve the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease.

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Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
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