2019 Wylie Scholar, Andrea Obi MD, University of Michigan, received a NHLBI K08 Career Development Award for her project “Myeloid TLR4 epigenetic regulation and signaling in accelerating venous thrombus resolution.” This parallels her Wylie project that seeks to better understand how blood clots in our veins form.
Dr. Obi describes her K08 project:
“Deep venous thrombosis (blood clots in the large veins, generally the pelvis or legs), can lead to immediate death from pulmonary embolism (clots travelling to the lungs and blocking exchange of oxygen and blood flow). In patients who survive and are treated with blood thinning medication, the treatment is imperfect: some will never fully dissolve their blood clots. This is problematic because the clots can block the flow of blood and cause the valves on the blood vessel wall to malfunction, leading to blood pooling, swelling, pain and even ulceration. They can also serve as a nidus for a second or even third blood clot to form. We know that innate immune cells (monocytes/macrophages) play a large role in breaking down the clot. We plan to evaluate one of the signaling systems (TLR4) used by these immune cells in directing the cell’s response to making enzymes necessary for the breakdown of thrombus. We hope in this way to open the door to immune based therapies for the treatment of DVT.”
Dr. Obi credits her Wylie Award in helping her gain the K08 award: “I am so grateful for the Vascular Cures foundation in getting my lab up and running over the last year and a half. It has been so, so instrumental in launching our work.”
The Wylie Scholar Award program provides early support for young vascular surgeon scientists and has enabled at least 50% of previous Wylie Scholars to generate the critical data needed to obtain a K08 award.