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MSU researchers receive $400,000 in first wave of stimulus funding

EAST LANSING, Mich. A pair of Michigan State University professors have received a total of nearly $400,000 for their cardiovascular research projects as part of the first wave of stimulus funding from federal agencies.

The money, from the National Institutes of Health via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will help to preserve and create jobs in Michigan while also investing in important medical research, said U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, whose office announced the awards.

Narayanan Parameswaran, an assistant professor in MSU's Department of Physiology, received $375,141 for his research on the molecular aspects in the development of chronic diseases. His work in particular focuses on atherosclerosis, one of the major causes of heart attack and stroke.

"Understanding how atherosclerosis develops is an important question in cardiovascular medicine, because if we understand the 'how', then we can eventually use that information to develop therapeutic drugs to prevent or treat this disease," he said.

Parameswaran's study focuses on how a certain protein called "GRK2" affects the development of atherosclerosis. The research will help determine if the protein can be targeted for drug development in the treatment of atherosclerosis and other chronic diseases.

Gregory Fink, a professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, received $17,632 for a research project he's doing on hypertension. Fink will use the money to have a student work in the laboratory of MSU colleague James Galligan on a project looking at the causes of high blood pressure.

"The work specifically looks at how a high-salt diet affects the arteries and veins in the gastrointestinal system," Fink said of the project, which is in its seventh year at MSU.

The money announced June 2 was part of $2.7 million in NIH funding that went to six institutions statewide. MSU has about 150 grant applications pending as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and expects to hear on other awards soon.


Contact: Jason Cody
Michigan State University

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