Igor Zelko, PhD
Research Awards Nationwide Recipient (2013-2015)
University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
Blocking Remodeling in Lung's Blood Vessels in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) is a devastating disease; only about half of patients survive five years after diagnosis. The lung's blood vessels are remodeled and constrict, leading to heart failure due to an enlarged right ventricle. Current drug used to treat the disease enlarge the blood vessels, but do not block the eventual thickening of the artery walls, and do not improve survival. Dr. Zelko and team are studying the mechanisms that regulate remodeling of blood vessel walls in the lung. They are focusing on a substance that inhibits an enzyme called histone deacetylase, which could provide clues leading to better therapy for PAH. If it is successful, this drug could be used in human trials to stop, or even reverse progression of the disease.