To enhance human health, we are using multidisciplinary approaches to explore the inflammation and immunes processes involved in cardiovascular diseases –with a focus on identifying targets for drug development and diagnosis, leading to improved prevention and treatment.
Case Study: Innovative Drug Discovery for Sickle Cell Disease
Strokes are a leading cause of mortality and the main cause of adult disability. During a stroke, the blood supply to parts of the brain becomes limited, causing cell death. This complex response involves blood vessels, chemical mediators and immune cells (termed “inflammation”). Ongoing or worsening inflammation further damages the brain. Reducing, and ideally eliminating inflammation(termed “resolution”) is critical to stroke recovery. Funded by the Royal Society-Wolfson Foundation, the Brunel study of one player of resolution: formyl peptide receptor 2 ((Fpr2/ALX) G-protein coupled receptor(GPCR) located on the surface of many cell types in the body), has shown that targeting Fpr2/ALX in mice limits brain damage during a stroke and improves the outcome. These data are particularly relevant to high-risk stroke individuals, e.g.patients with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), a disorder affecting red blood cells. This project will focus on investigating whether targeting Fpr2/ALX, which resolves inflammation, can limit brain damage during a stroke in SCD. Data generated may provide new therapeutic possibilities for drug discovery programmes.
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Dr Michael Joseph
Business Development Manager
Research Support and Development Office