The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) has awarded Wei Yang, PhD, a 5-year, $1,739,065 National Institutes of Health grant to pursue his study, titled “The Unfolded Protein Response and Neuroprotection in Stroke.”
The goal of this project is to determine the role of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and the unfolded protein response (UPR) in stroke. The UPR is a pro-survival response that restores ER function impaired by stroke, and facilitates recovery of cellular protein homeostasis, which is critical to the survival of stressed cells. Understanding how UPR pathways define the fate and function of post-ischemic neurons is expected to inform the development of new therapeutic strategies to boost this pro-survival response and improve stroke outcome. To complete this study, novel UPR-selective and neuron-specific knock-out and knock-in mouse models as well as various pharmacologic tools will be used.
Dr. Yang’s mentor, Dr. Wulf Paschen, and Dr. Huaxin Sheng, both of Duke Anesthesiology, are co-investigators on this project. Significant contributors include Duke Anesthesiology’s Dr. David Warner, Dr. John Chatham (University of Alabama at Birmingham) and Christopher Glembotski (San Diego State University).
This is the second research grant awarded to Dr. Yang this year. The grant application was highly rated (third percentile) in the first submission cycle. Dr. Yang participated in the external grant review program provided by the department to gather valuable feedback on this application before submission to NIH.