Laboratory of Complement Biology Receives $2 Million NIH Award to Study Hyperactive Immune States in the Search for a Cure
NYBC’s Laboratory of Complement Biology at its Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute has received a significant federal grant to identify the immune cells that block medications commonly used to treat patients with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) – an autoimmune bleeding disease in which patients attack and destroy their own platelets, the blood component primarily responsible for controlling bleeding. Approximately 90,000 adult patients in the United States and Europe have the disease, which afflicts twice as many women as men.
“New medications that boost platelet production are increasingly used to treat ITP patients, but they don’t work for everyone,” said Dr. Karina Yazdanbakhsh, head of the Complement Biology Laboratory. “We believe that the lack of response in these individuals is due to their having hyperactive immune states. Our goal is to identify the immune cells that cause non-responsiveness to these ITP drugs, which would not only help these individual patients, but will also provide a strong foundation for the development of a possible cure for all ITP patients.”
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health have awarded Dr. Yazdanbakhsh and her colleagues almost $2 million over 3.5 years for their work, which includes a subcontract to investigators at Cornell University.
Erythropoiesis Laboratory Receives NIH Award for Momentum-Building in Translational Science
NYBC’s Erythropoiesis Laboratory has received a significant federal grant to develop a more comprehensive understanding of diseases such as Sickle Cell Anemia and Beta-Thalassemia in which anemia is associated with too much iron in the body.
“Our lab previously demonstrated that transferrin, a molecule already present in the body, reverses iron overload and improves anemia in mice with beta-thalassemia,” said Dr. Yelena Ginzburg, MD, head of the Erythropoiesis Laboratory. “We have also recently shown that how iron is transported in the body, not just the amount of iron, is critical for transferrin's beneficial effect in the treatment of beta-thalassemia.”
Dr. Ginzburg and her colleagues were awarded more than $1.84 million over five years by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.
As Dr. Ginzburg explains it, this new NIH-funded research will help develop treatments for patients with iron overload anemias. “We are now investigating the mechanisms underlying iron transport to support the premise of using transferrin to treat patients with beta-thalassemia and possibly other diseases associated with anemia and iron overload, like sickle cell anemia and myelodysplastic syndrome.”
Please note: This content is solely the responsibility of the NYBC authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
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Now more than 50 years old, New York Blood Center (NYBC) is one of the largest independent, community-based blood centers in the country. NYBC’s mission is to serve the 20 million people in the New York metropolitan area—and more broadly, our nation and our world—by alleviating human suffering and preserving human life.
Each year, NYBC provides approximately one million blood products to nearly 200 hospitals in the Northeast. NYBC also provides a wide array of transfusion-related medical services. NYBC is also home to the world’s largest public cord blood bank, which provides stem cells for transplant in many countries, and a renowned research institute, which – among other milestones – developed the Hepatitis B vaccine and innovative blood purification technology.