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Bioinformatics Faculty Member Awarded Research Grant to Study Vascular Calcification in Chronic Kidney Disease

March 31, 2014

Assistant professor in the Department of BioHealth Informatics, Dr. Sarath Janga, was the recent recipient of the IU Collaborative Research Grant by the IUPUI Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.

Sarath Janga

Dr. Sarath Janga

Dr. Janga, principal investigator, along with co-investigators Dr. Sharon Moe/Dr. Neal X. Chen from the IU School of Medicine was awarded $69,550 for a one-year grant beginning April 2014, that will be used for research to gain a better understanding of the role of microRNA as a mediator of vascular calcification via the transfer of microRNA to adjacent cells.

“This project will provide valuable information that will aid in the prevention and cure of chronic kidney disease which is estimated to affect more than 15% of the US population,” said Dr. Janga.

Vascular calcification is a prominent finding in aging, diabetes, chronic kidney disease (CKD), and inflammatory diseases, which is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Although several risk factors have been identified in CKD, the greatest risk factor for progression is the magnitude of existing arterial calcification. However, the mechanism of such propagation is unknown, and data suggest it is far more complex than physicochemical changes in mineral concentrations.   In this study, Dr. Janga and his team will examine the contribution of miRNAs in regulating the vascular calcification progression in chronic kidney disease, using integrated experimental and systems biology approaches.

IU Collaborative Research Grants are designed to facilitate and support outstanding research and discoveries by teams of experts who have not worked together previously.  The grants also are intended to support research which will significantly advance a research field and in doing so, impact the lives of Indiana residents, the US and the World.

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