Science Market Update

UCLA: Nearly $9M in NHLBI Funding to Help Take Science Solutions to Heart

Posted by Rebecca Partridge on Wed, Mar 15, 2017

Thus far in 2017, the University of California Los Angeles has received over $6.8 million in funding from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). This funding has been awarded through multiple grants intended to support cardiovascular research.

science solutions to cardiovascular issues

(Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Some of the projects aimed at finding new scientific solutions to cardiovascular issues include: A study of how the parathyroid affects aortic disease. The Vice Chair of Cardiovascular and Vascular Medicine Director, Linda Demer, M.D. PhD.  is the principal investigator for this. Research into new molecules found in triglyceride metabolism and adipogenesis (the process of cell differentiating into fat cells) is being led by Luisa Iruela-Arispe, Ph.D.  Dr. Iruela-Arispe currently serves as Professor and Vice-Chair of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology at UCLA.

One of the largest NIH’s (National Health Institute) NHLBI grants, went to Dr. Peipei Ping, Professor of Physiology, Medicine/Cardiology, and Bioinformatics. This award of over $900k will fund the project titled “Omics Phenotyping for Identifying Molecular Signatures of The Healthy and Failing Heart: An Integrated Data Science Platform.” This research will employ a multi-pronged strategy for identifying molecular signatures that drive cardiac phenotypes, or traits such as morphology, development and physiological properties.  

Dr. Ping’s project will compare healthy hearts and failing hearts on a molecular level in order to uncover sets of genes, proteins, and genetic variants that can be used as markers for particular phenotypes. Dr. Ping and her team will be observing cardiac phenotypes, through the study of genes, proteins and metabolism. Their goal is to address two critical biomedical challenges faced by researchers:

  • The knowledge gap in how we conceptualize proteins, including how they interplay with other systems, and how their dynamics contribute to functional phenotype
  • The need for new computational tools for systematically linking phenotypic and molecular data, as well as a shared informatics management environment that the cardiovascular community can access

In addition to being a professor and principal investigator, Dr. Ping has served as the director of the NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Center of Excellence for Big Data Computing at UCLA since it was founded in 2014. She is also the director of NIH BD2K Centers-Coordination Center UCLA, founded in 2015. 

The emphasis of Ping’s lab is on understanding the regulation of cardiac mitochondria and their roles in the development of heart diseases. Her primary research interests include:

  • Proteome design and function of cardiac mitochondria
  • Mitochondrial anatomy and functions following left ventricular assist device support
  • Signaling, regulation, and functional dynamics of protein degradation networks.

Ten of the twelve grants went to were awarded UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.  The remaining two went to UCLA’s Schools of Arts and Sciences.  

NHLBI funding by Departments:

  • Medicine $3,477,524
  • Human Genetics $643,482
  • Molecular, Cellular and Dev. Biology $761,790
  • Neurobiology $781,655
  • Physiology $1,030,808
  • Radiology and Radiological sciences $166,026

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Science product vendors interested in increasing their laboratory product sales are invited to display relevant products at the the 39th Semiannual Biotechnology Vendor Showcase™ Event at UCLA. This on campus event will be held on Thursday, April 20, 2017, and will be hosted by Biotechnology Calendar, Inc.  More than 400 life scientists are expected to attend. Last year, researchers came from 46 different research buildings and 80 on-campus departments.

To learn more about participating as an exhibitor  at this popular event, call (530) 272-6675 or visit the link below:

Exhibitors:  UCLA Event    laboratory product sales at UCLA vendor show

Science professionals, including researchers, PI's, technicians and post doctoral researchers are invited to come for free. Click the link below to for more information and find out how  to preregister.

Researchers Attend  UCLA Event


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Tags: University of California Los Angeles, cardiovascular research, increase laboratory product sales, UCLA, NIH funding, life science research at UCLA, life science solutions, science solutions, NIH awards 2017

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