NIH Awards $4 Million Training Grant for Cardiovascular Research Center

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has granted the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine a five-year, $4 million Institutional National Research Service Award renewal.

Initiated in 1974 under the direction of Francois M. Abboud, MD, the Edith King Pearson Chair in Cardiovascular Research and professor of internal medicine and molecular physiology and biophysics, the training grant is one of the longest continuously funded programs of its kind in the nation. The funding supports stipends and research expenses of young medical doctors and research scientists for two or three years of research training with the goal of preparing them for careers as leading cardiovascular researchers and/or physician/scientists.

The award is the seventh competitive renewal of the Interdisciplinary Cardiovascular Research Fellowship to the UI Cardiovascular Research Center. It will extend the program's continuous NIH funding through its 41st year and bring total funding for this program to more than $26 million.

Since its inception, the program has provided opportunities for young researchers to be exposed to diverse research disciplines in the clinical and basic sciences. Over the past 36 years, more than 500 cardiovascular scientists and cardiologists have received research training through this program. According to Abboud, the majority of these trainees are now established scientists and cardiologists, who are leaders in cardiovascular research in academia or industry.

The NIH grant supports 15 postdoctoral research trainees each year. Areas of research in cardiovascular training include membrane biology and ion channels, integrative neurobiology of cardiovascular regulation, vascular biology and hypertension. Core resources at the UI support these multidisciplinary research themes and include the Transgenic Animal Facility, Gene Transfer Vector Core, Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, and the Center for Gene Therapy of Cystic Fibrosis and Other Genetic Diseases.