The research committee of the American Heart Association awarded Duke Anesthesiology’s Dr. Wei Yang a two-year, $154,000 research grant for his project titled, “ER Stress Response in Recovery of Brain Function After Cardiac Arrest.” The award, “MAA Winter 2016 Grant-in-Aid,” begins July 1st of 2016.
Cardiac arrest (CA) causes brain ischemia/reperfusion injury upon resuscitation. CA-induced brain damage presents a major burden on families and health care systems. Currently, hypothermia is the only available treatment option for CA patients. There is, therefore, an urgent need to develop novel therapeutic strategies to improve brain recovery after CA, which requires a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying this brain injury. With this two-year award, Dr. Yang will work with Dr. Wulf Paschen and Dr. Huaxin Sheng to dissect the role of the unfolded protein response (UPR) in recovery from CA-induced global brain ischemia, using unique genetically modified mice that were recently generated in his lab. This research has the potential to provide crucial insights into the pathophysiology of brain injury following CA and to lay the groundwork for future translational studies to unraveling brain injury mechanisms in CA patients as basis to develop new strategies for therapeutic interventions.