The candidate, an Associate Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UT-Houston) School of Nursing, is currently a member of an interdisciplinary research team that conducts cardiovascular research. As a postdoctoral fellow in genetics and hypertension, she began participating in an NIH-funded Clinical Research Curriculum that she will complete during the proposed K Award. The long-term goal is to develop a model that will allow continued exploration of genetic, biochemical, and environmental risk factors in patients diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. Educational specific aims are to increase knowledge about cardiovascular disease that will stimulate new research hypotheses of the biochemical markers and related genes, and to increase knowledge in the design and analysis of large clinical cohort studies that will augment the quality of future grants. Environmental support available at UT-Houston includes laboratory support through the Human Genetics Center; educational support through the UT-Houston Medical School Clinical Research Curriculum; and access to patients, abstracting, and long-term follow-up through the TexGen Resource. The Award will support a pilot study to explore the prognostic value of inflammatory markers and related candidate gene variation to predict adverse outcomes in patients with cardiovascular disease.
Specific aims of the research are to identify the prognostic value of: 1) novel biomarkers to predict the timing and severity of acute coronary syndrome (ACS), outcomes of: subsequent reperfusion interventions (stent placement, angioplasty, or cardiac bypass surgery), death, stroke, and myocardial infarction (MI), and to test for interactions with demographic/lifestyle and traditional clinical predictors; and 2) DNA sequence variation in the genes encoding the novel biomarkers identified in Aim 1, by assessing the interaction of the sequence variations and biomarkers to predict the timing and severity of the ACS outcomes of: subsequent reperfusion interventions, death, stroke, and MI, and to test for interaction with demographic/lifestyle and traditional clinical predictors. The proposed K award will allow the protected time needed to develop knowledge and skills in design, performance, and analysis of clinical research; to develop clinical knowledge of cardiovascular biomarkers; and to conduct the proposed pilot research in the Texas Medical Center. The pilot data will serve as preliminary data for an RO1 application.
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