VCCBH News


2023 VCCBH Pilot Grant Award Recipients

October 24, 2023 by Vermont Center of Cardiovascular and Brain Health

These awards, supported wholly by funds from UVM entities, provide $200,000 over 2 years to fund meritorious research from early career faculty. We are very grateful to Deans from the Colleges of Medicine, Agriculture and Life Sciences, Nursing & Health Sciences, Arts & Sciences, Engineering & Mathematical Sciences, LCOM Deans Office, and the Graduate College, as well as the Cardiovascular Research Institute of Vermont, for their support of this program. In addition, we would like to acknowledge matching fund support from the Departments of Pharmacology and Neurological Sciences.

These awards, supported wholly by funds from UVM entities, provide $200,000 over 2 years to fund meritorious research from early career faculty. We are very grateful to Deans from the Colleges of Medicine, Agriculture and Life Sciences, Nursing & Health Sciences, Arts & Sciences, Engineering & Mathematical Sciences, LCOM Deans Office, and the Graduate College, as well as the Cardiovascular Research Institute of Vermont, for their support of this program. In addition, we would like to acknowledge matching fund support from the Departments of Pharmacology and Neurological Sciences.

Pilot Project Leaders: 

Dr. Nicholas Klug is an Assistant Professor, Research Scholar Track, in the Department of Pharmacology and is a Pipeline Investigator in our Center. His current research centers on the role capillary pericytes and endothelial cells play in sensing and signaling within their respective tissues, such as the central nervous system or meninges to determine how ion channels and associated signaling pathways regulate cerebral blood flow, vascular inflammation, and overall tissue homeostasis. 

Dr. Adam Sprouse-Blum is an Assistant Professor of Neurological Sciences, attending physician, a PhD candidate in Clinical & Translational Science and Pipeline Investigator in our Center. His current research centers on understanding migraine pathophysiology through both human and animal studies with the goal of translating these findings into clinical use.

Project Description

Migraine is a neurovascular disorder and the second leading cause of global disability. Unfortunately, the pathophysiology of migraine is incompletely understood, which has hampered our ability to effectively treat it. One of the largest unanswered questions that remains is, where does the head pain of migraine come from? Current theories suggest the head pain of migraine results from changes that occur in the dura mater. The dura is a protective layer that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. It contains a dense network of tiny blood vessels, called capillaries. This dense capillary network provides an enormous surface area in which head pain in migraine may be detected or transmitted, possibly through actions of pericytes – small cells that line capillaries and regulate their diameter and permeability. In this study, we will begin to examine the role dural capillaries may play in migraine pathophysiology utilizing modern imaging and electrophysiology techniques to measure capillary changes before and after application of CGRP or PACAP, molecules that have been implicated in migraine pathophysiology and that are targets for several novel migraine-specific medications.

 



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