Feature grant: Researchers investigate how cholesterol regulates inflammation in white blood cells

August 7, 2019

Dr. Xiaohui ZhaDr. Xiaohui ZhaDrs. Xiaohui Zha and Alexander Sorisky were awarded $48,000 to test whether cholesterol regulates inflammation in human white blood cells by altering gene expression. This Translational Research Grant was funded by the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute ($20,000), the Department of Medicine ($20,000) and the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism ($8,000) in June 2019. The researchers previously found that high cholesterol in mouse white blood cells activates signaling pathways that turn on inflammatory genes. This process contributes to atherosclerosis, a narrowing of the arteries linked to stroke and heart attack. The researchers will now confirm these results in human cells. New insights into this disease may help lead to new diagnosis or treatment methods. Over the last four years, the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute has provided more than $300,000 in matching funds for partnership grants with the Department of Medicine, the Faculty of Medicine and TOHAMO. This is possible because of fundraising events like THE RIDE and unrestricted donations to The Ottawa Hospital Foundation.

The Ottawa Hospital: Inspired by research. Driven by compassion  Alexander Sorisky  Dr. Alexander Sorisky 

The Ottawa Hospital is one of Canada’s largest learning and research hospitals with over 1,100 beds, approximately 12,000 staff and an annual budget of over $1.2 billion. Our focus on research and learning helps us develop new and innovative ways to treat patients and improve care. As a multi-campus hospital, affiliated with the University of Ottawa, we deliver specialized care to the Eastern Ontario region, but our techniques and research discoveries are adopted around the world. We engage the community at all levels to support our vision for better patient care. See for more information about research at The Ottawa Hospital.

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