Upstate News

May 29, 2009
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Upstate Medical University awarded more than $300,000 for research into heart disease

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Upstate Medical University has been awarded $341,280 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to advance research and treatment for heart-related birth defects. The grant award, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, was announced by U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand May 28.

While progress has been made in understanding heart defects, many cases the underlying cause is unknown. This project focuses on mechanisms that control heart development to identify genes that may aid in diagnosis, treatment or prevention of congenital heart disease.

The research will be conducted by Jeffrey Amack, Ph.D., assistant professor of cell and developmental biology. Amack’s research interest focuses on how organs, in particular the heart, take shape during embryonic development.

“Federal funding for medical research and training is needed now more than ever,” said Schumer. “In these difficult economic times, it is critical that we continue to invest in cutting-edge medical research to push the boundaries of medicine and promote long-term economic growth. I will continue to fight for federal funds that will advance the Upstate Medical University in Syracuse as a world-class research institution and vital source of jobs for Central New York.”

“It is critical that we invest in the life-saving research and personnel training at our world class medical facilities in Syracuse,” said Gillibrand. “Federal funding for this cutting edge research will help save lives while supporting economic growth in Central New York. I will continue to work with Senator Schumer to ensure that New York receives its fair share of federal dollars and improved health care initiatives.”

Research at Upstate is a nearly $40 million enterprise focused on research into cancer, infectious diseases, disorders of the nervous system and diabetes, metabolic disorders and cardiovascular diseases.

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