suPAR in cardiovascular disease

Status: Complete
Year: 2019
Funded: $94,788
Grant Type: Major Project Grant

Despite medical advances, cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains a leading cause of death in New Zealand. This highly complex disease is often burdened by a substantial component of inflammatory dysfunction, and new strategies are needed for improved patient care.

Very recently, we identified a marker known as soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) to have excellent potential in CVD risk prognostication. Whilst our preliminary results also show suPAR to exist in different forms in the circulation of CVD patients, the current clinical assay is not capable of differentiating them. As suPAR is a marker proposed to regulate CVD inflammatory processes such as in plaque vulnerability, we hypothesise that suPAR forms can affect CVD disease progression and associated burden.

This project aims to identify suPAR variants and its glycosylated products as new prognostic biomarkers for heart disease. We will use a combination of immunopurification and mass-spectrometry methods to detect these unique entities in health and in heart failure patients. Ultimately, this research may reveal novel prognostic tools that are specific to alterations in the vasculature, improve earlier detection of CVD burden, which will lead to increased survival rates of patients suffering from heart disease.

Researcher // Dr Janice Chew-Harris – University of Otago

Dr Chew-Harris research interests lie in novel biomarker identification, performance and measurement, cardiovascular disease, estimates of kidney function, clinical biochemistry, endocrinology. and protein chemistry.

More About Dr Janice Chew-Harris

What is Cardiovascular Disease?

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels. CVD includes coronary artery diseases (CAD) such as angina and myocardial infarction (commonly known as a heart attack). Other CVDs include stroke, heart failure, hypertensive heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, cardiomyopathy, abnormal heart rhythms, congenital heart disease, valvular heart disease, carditis, aortic aneurysms, peripheral artery disease, thromboembolic disease, and venous thrombosis.

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Estimated number of people who died from CVDs in 2016.
0 %
Of all global deaths are attributed to CVDs.
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Of these deaths are due to heart attack and stroke.
CVDs are the number 1 cause of death globally.

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