Monday, July 5, 2010

bioBUzz: Sanford-Burnham Researchers Recognized by the NIH

Orlando, Fla., - June 29, 2010 Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona is pleased to announce that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded research grants to two faculty members in recognition of their contribution to advancing scientific understanding of cardiovascular diseases and chronic inflammation.

The grants are valued at $4.3 million dollars and were awarded to Dr. Daniel Kelly, professor and scientific director, Sanford-Burnham Institute at Lake Nona and Dr. Timothy Osborne, professor and director of the metabolic signaling and disease program at Lake Nona. The continued funding of current research allows scientists to pursue promising investigations and when indicated, supports the recruitment of additional lab staff.

Dr. Kelly’s five-year RO1 grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute provides $2.4 million dollars to investigate the metabolic basis of heart failure. This grant approval will initiate the 13th year of NIH support for the Kelly lab’s research in this area. To date, the results of this work have been published in 38 papers in prestigious scientific journals, including Genes and Development, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Circulation Research, and Molecular Cellular Biology.

Despite significant advances in the treatment of cardiovascular disease over the past several decades, therapeutic approaches to prevent heart failure, a worldwide health threat, are limited. Evidence is emerging that alterations in cardiac cell energy metabolism contribute to the development of heart failure.

The NIH grant will allow scientists to determine if changes in fuel metabolism or alterations in mitochondria, the “power house” of the cell, leads to heart failure. In the long-term, Dr. Kelly seeks to identify novel drug targets aimed at modulating heart metabolism as a new approach to prevent or treat heart failure in its early stages.

Dr. Osborne’s four year RO1 grant is valued at $1.9 million and represents the latest installment of a project that has been continuously funded by the NIH since 1994. Dr. Osborne’s work has resulted in more than 70 research publications describing mechanisms that our bodies use to maintain an optimal balance between cellular cholesterol and fatty acids which goes haywire in cardiovascular and obesity related diseases. The current project seeks to study key interactions between fat metabolism and inflammation. The complex interactions between these two seemingly unrelated processes play a major role in the body’s ability to manage fat overload, which is a major complication of obesity, diabetes and many other chronic diseases.

About Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, formerly Burnham Institute for Medical Research, is dedicated to discovering the fundamental molecular causes of disease and devising the innovative therapies of tomorrow. Sanford-Burnham, with operations in California and Florida, is one of the fastest-growing research institutes in the country. The Institute ranks among the top independent research institutions nationally for NIH grant funding and among the top organizations worldwide for its research impact. From 1999–2009, Sanford-Burnham ranked #1 worldwide among all types of organizations in the fields of biology and biochemistry for the impact of its research publications, defined by citations per publication, according to the Institute for Scientific Information. According to government statistics, Sanford-Burnham ranks #2 nationally among all organizations in capital efficiency of generating patents, defined by number of patents issued per grant dollars awarded.

Sanford-Burnham utilizes a unique, collaborative approach to medical research and has established major research programs in cancer, neurodegeneration, diabetes, and infectious, inflammatory, and childhood diseases. The Institute is especially known for its world-class capabilities in stem cell research and drug discovery technologies. Sanford-Burnham is a nonprofit public benefit corporation. For more information, please visit

Media Contacts:

Deborah Robison

Director of Communications

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona


Courtesy BioOrlando

No comments: