Quintin Quiñones, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Division of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology, has been awarded a two year $50,000 Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists/IARS Starter Grant entitled, “Innate Immune Adaptations of Hibernation as a New Approach to Protection Against Acute Organ Injury.”
The investigators have developed a cardiopulmonary bypass-based model of ischemia/reperfusion, and have applied it to rats and a hibernating mammal – the arctic ground squirrel. The investigators hypothesize that hibernator resistance to ischemia/reperfusion is secondary to reversible modulation of innate immunity. They will test this hypothesis by determining the role of compartment-specific innate immune activation on hibernation-specific responses to myocardial ischemia/reperfusion, and defining key regulatory mechanisms involved in hibernation-induced attenuation of pattern-recognition receptor inflammatory signaling along specific transduction pathways. The rationale for the proposed research is that by understanding natural mammalian regulation of innate immunity, the investigators will identify targets for therapeutic strategies that will provide organ protection in patients who suffer severe ischemia/reperfusion injury in cardiac surgery, transplant, and intensive care settings. Dr. Mihai Podgoreanu, M.D. will be Dr. Quiñones’ primary mentor during this project.