Kel Woo, M.D., Ph.D.

Kel Woo, M.D., Ph.D.

Institution: Washington University in St. Louis

Project: Preventing Low Oxygen-Induced Pulmonary Hypertension

Grant(s): Catalyst Award

High blood pressure in the lung, called pulmonary hypertension (PH), is a debilitating disease that affects premature babies and patients with lung disease. We are studying a specific type of PH caused by low oxygen. We have identified signaling molecules called fibroblast growth factors (FGFs), and their receptors (FGFRs), that regulate PH. To learn how these molecules function, we engineered mice that activate FGFRs in cells that line blood vessels. When these mice are exposed to low oxygen levels, they do not develop PH. These studies suggest that FGFRs may function to prevent PH and that activating FGFRs in cells that line the blood vessels in the lung might reduce disease severity. We will determine how activating FGFRs in mice prevents low oxygen-induced PH, and investigate a new method of delivering the protective FGFR gene to the lungs to model a therapeutic approach to prevent low oxygen-induced PH.

Freedom From Smoking Clinic
, | Oct 25, 2021
Lung Mind Alliance Convening
, | Dec 08, 2021