$6.5M grant awarded to study heart cell cytoskeleton's role in heart disease

A new, multi-institutional $6.5 million grant will fund research on the role of the heart cell cytoskeleton in heart disease.

The grant, issued by the Leducq Foundation, was given to a consortium of physician-scientists and researchers at seven laboratories in Europe and North America. For the next five years, the group will study the heart cell cytoskeleton's role in heart disease and find new therapies that target the cytoskeleton to prevent or reverse heart disease and heart failure. Cytoskeleton is the internal structure of heart cells that influence how well the heart can pump blood.

Benjamin L. Prosser, PhD, an assistant professor of physiology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, will be the North American coordinator of the research project.

"The idea [of the project] is to bridge these collaborations across the pond and accomplish a goal that any one, two, or even three investigators alone could not," said Dr. Prosser.

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