Johns Hopkins has been awarded one of five centers that form the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Go Red for Women Research Network. The award for $3.7 million over a four-year period will support work spanning from basic science to population/epidemiology studies.
The Hopkins center, entitled Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction: Female Sex-Hormones and Cyclic GMP-PKG Modulation of Cardiac Disease and Metabolism, will investigate this form of heart failure more common in older women for which there is currently no effective treatments.
The center, directed by Pamela Ouyang, professor in the Division of Cardiology, includes the following collaborators:
- David Kass, professor in the Division of Cardiology, who will lead a basic science project
- Sanjiv Shah from Northwestern University and Kavita Sharma, assistant professor in Cardiology, who will lead a clinical science project
- Wendy Post and Dhananjay Vaidya, professor and associate profess in Cardiology, respectively, who will lead a population science project
- Erin Michos, associate professor in Cardiology, who will train fellows in women’s health research
Each project investigates the role of an important enzyme—protein kinase G—and ways that it can be activated. This enzyme can improve the heart and has the potential to combat obesity and improve skeletal muscle function. The decline in estrogen after menopause is thought to block normal function of protein kinase G, contributing to heart failure. The Hopkins center’s aim is to test this concept and develop strategies to offset such enzyme deficiency and pave the way for new therapies to treat this common form of heart failure.