Project Title

Therapeutic PLN mutant design

Date Awarded

6-23-2014

Department/School

Chemistry

Project Description

Kim Ha, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, and Yenchi Tran, a student researcher, were awarded $17,350.01 to study how to better target the molecular roots of heart failure by designing small proteins which could be used to treat heart failure when they are delivered by gene therapy. Approximately 5 million Americans are affected by heart failure, a condition marked by the weakening of the heart muscle - eventually leading to enlargement of the heart. This study specifically targets a protein called phospholamban (PLN), which is involved with handling calcium, a major signaling molecule in the heart, and explores if mutations of PLN can be engineered to improve cardiac contractility and treat heart failure.

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