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November 1, 2019

Chesler lands NIH grant to study heart mechanisms in pulmonary hypertension

Written By: Tom Ziemer


Naomi Chesler
Naomi Chesler

Naomi Chesler, a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of biomedical engineering, will lead a four-year, $2.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health investigating how a female sex hormone improves heart function in pulmonary arterial hypertension.

In pulmonary arterial hypertension, the blood vessels in the lungs narrow, hampering blood flow and straining the right side of the heart. The disease can lead to right heart failure. However, studies have shown that function of the right ventricle and female sex are major determinants of survival.

Chesler and her group in the Vascular Tissue Biomechanics Lab will examine how a female sex hormone called estradiol indirectly bolsters right ventricular function, with a goal of identifying mechanisms that could be targeted with therapies. Chesler studies vascular biomechanics, the dynamics of blood flow, vascular remodeling in systemic and pulmonary hypertension and other heart-related issues.

The project is a collaboration with Tim Lahm, an associate professor of medicine at Indiana University who studies right ventricular function in pulmonary hypertension.