Pawlinski awarded $1.55-million, four-year grant from the NIH-NHLBI

Rafal Pawlinski, PhD, Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology, has been awarded a $1.55-million, four-year grant from the NIH-NHLBI to investigate the potential therapeutic effects of inhibiting Factor XIIa on coagulation-dependent pathologies associated with sickle cell disease (SCD).

Pawlinski awarded $1.55-million, four-year grant from the NIH-NHLBI click to enlarge Rafal Pawlinski, PhD
Pawlinski awarded $1.55-million, four-year grant from the NIH-NHLBI click to enlarge Erica Sparkenbaugh, PhD

SCD is the genetic disorder resulting in hemolytic anemia, vascular occlusions and multiple organ damage that significantly reduces the quality of life and shortens the lifespan of affected individuals. Dr. Pawlinski, together with Dr. Erica Sparkenbaugh, a Research Associate in the Pawlinski lab, demonstrated that the hypercoagulable state significantly contributes to the pathology of the SCD. Their data implicate the coagulation system as an important mediator of vascular inflammation and end-organ damage in a mouse model of SCD, and suggest that long-term anticoagulation might lead to improved clinical outcomes in sickle cell patients. The awarded project aims to identify the best anticoagulant therapy to reduce thrombosis, inflammation and end-organ damage in SCD. A better understanding of Factor XIIa contribution to the pathology of SCD may lead to the development of new, anticoagulant-based therapy that would not increase bleeding risk and could be a part of multimodal approach to prevent cumulative organ damage in patients with SCD.

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