Dr. Zhang Awarded Grant for Proteomics Research

The Duke University School of Medicine has awarded Zhiquan Zhang, PhD, a $10,000 grant for his project titled, “Proteomic Identification of Novel Sirtuin-3 Regulated Pathways in the Treatment of Acute Myocardial Ischemia-Reperfusion.”

Acute myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality. According to Dr. Zhang, there are only a few treatments available but they have limited effectiveness. Dr. Zhang has developed a bioactive peptide (ANXA1sp), recognized as an endogenous anti-inflammatory mediator that plays pivotal roles in resolving inflammation. For the first time, his ongoing findings have revealed that this peptide significantly reduces myocardial infarct size in male but not in female wild-type mice. However, the underlying cardioprotective mechanisms/pathways are still unknown; such knowledge is essential for developing preventive and therapeutic strategies.

Proteomic analysis, a valuable tool for identifying novel proteins and pathways, combined with genetic loss-of-function animal models, represent a unique approach for identifying specific targets and key players in pathways involved in myocardial IR injury. Dr. Zhang and his co-investigator, Dr. Qing Ma, are aiming to perform quantitative proteomic analysis of heart mitochondrial proteins and expect to identify novel pathways associated with ANXA1sp-induced cardioprotection. Analysis will be performed at the Duke Proteomics Core facility. They believe their findings will provide important data for future studies.