Two Feinstein Institute for Medical Research scientists have each been awarded five-year grants – one for 3 million and another 2 million – from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Kevin J. Tracey, MD, Feinstein Institute president and CEO, and Ping Wang, MD, chief scientific officer, have each received this distinguished honor to continue their respective research in bioelectronic medicine and sepsis. The grants are part of the NIH’s Maximizing Investigators’ Research Awards (MIRA).
MIRA aims to fund established scientists, providing them the ability to change course in their investigations as their research progresses.
“These NIH awards to the Feinstein Institute reflect the outstanding research environment, and the shared commitment to creating knowledge to cure disease,” said Dr. Tracey. “We look forward to seeing the outcomes of this basic research move into clinical benefit for future patients.”
Dr. Tracey’s research, entitled “Molecular Basis of Bioelectronic Medicine,” aims to understand unanswered questions about the molecular mechanisms controlling inflammation identified from three of Dr. Tracey’s current NIH-funded projects. This existing research has found that inflammation can be controlled by classifying and targeting specific cytokines, and by mapping and targeting specific neural circuits that control their activity. One of the questions posed in this new study is to understand the identity and mechanisms of the reflex neural circuits that control immune responses. The second is to understand the biology of cytokine mediators of inflammation that are necessary and sufficient for disease progression. The third is to understand the molecular mechanisms that regulate cytokine release under the influence of neurotransmitters, including regulation of cytokine gene expression and inflammasome activity.
“It is an honor to be identified as one of the select investigators to be a recipient of a MIRA award,” said Dr. Wang. “The Feinstein Institute has been a major advocate of sepsis study and awareness, and with this new grant, we will be able to continue to explore new avenues of treatment and understanding of the condition.”
Dr. Wang’s study entitled, “Novel Approaches to Maintaining Organ Function in Sepsis,” aims to further explain the mechanisms responsible for the regulation of neutrophil (white blood cell) trafficking and vascular endothelial cell activation – two factors in inflammation during sepsis. Excessive neutrophil infiltration is a major determinant of organ injury in sepsis. This suggests that better regulation of neutrophil trafficking could be a strategy to reduce the effects of sepsis. Dr. Wang is evaluating the efficacy and toxicity of two peptides, MSP68 and C23, for treating sepsis. The goal of this research is to guide the design and development of new therapeutics for treating sepsis.
About The Feinstein Institute
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is the research arm of Northwell Health, the largest healthcare provider in New York. Home to 50 research laboratories and to clinical research throughout dozens of hospitals and outpatient facilities, the 2,000 researchers and staff of the Feinstein are making breakthroughs in molecular medicine, genetics, oncology, brain research, mental health, autoimmunity, and bioelectronic medicine – a new field of science that has the potential to revolutionize medicine. For more information about how we empower imagination and pioneer discovery, visit FeinsteinInstitute.org.