Haddad Receives $10 Million NIH Program Project Grant to lead Hypoxia Tolerance Research Study

Dr. Gabriel G. Haddad

La Jolla, June 29th, 2010 - Dr. Gabriel G. Haddad, Chair, Department of Pediatrics, UC San Diego, and Physician-in-Chief, Rady Children’s Hospital, has been awarded a $10 million Program Project Grant from the NIH (Heart, Lung and Blood Institute).

A world renowned physician-scientist in pediatric pulmonary medicine, Dr. Haddad will lead a collaborative team of investigators from UCSD and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, to study the impact of low oxygen on cells and tissue in the heart, lung, and brain.

“Understanding the molecular, cellular, and genetic mechanisms that contribute to low oxygen tolerance or susceptibility,” Dr. Haddad remarks, “Will have a major impact on our treatments of central nervous system and cardiorespiratory diseases such as stroke, myocardial ischemia/infarction, obstructive sleep apnea and pulmonary hypertension.”

The overall aims of this Program Project are:

  • To study the adaptive mechanisms to hypoxia in cardiovascular and respiratory systems at both cellular and molecular levels;
  • To study the fundamental genetic mechanisms of tolerance in a Drosophila model;
  • To modulate/manipulate molecular mechanisms in mammalian cells/tissues/animals to render them hypoxia-tolerant after learning from a tolerant organism, e.g., the fly; and
  • To identify molecular signatures of hypoxia tolerance and susceptibility that may be predictive clinically.

The investigative team includes:

Gabriel G. Haddad, MD, Chair Pediatrics, UCSD (PI of the PPG)

Jason Yuan, MD, PhD, Professor, Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago

Rolf Bodmer, PhD, Professor and Director, Development and Aging Program, Sanford-Burnham Institute for Medical Research

Andrew McCulloch, PhD, Professor, Department of Bioengineering, UCSD

Giovanni Paternostro, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, The Sanford-Burnham Institute for Medical Research

Frank Powell, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Physiology Division, UCSD and Director, University of California White Mountain Research Station

About the NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Program Project Grant

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Program Project Grant (P01) supports research related to fundamental processes and diseases of the heart, blood vessels, lungs, and blood as well as transfusion medicine, blood resources, and sleep disorders. A program project grant requires a minimum of three interrelated research projects that focus a number of scientific disciplines, which investigate a complex biomedical theme or research question. The projects may be supported by core units to facilitate economy of effort, space, and equipment. The NHLBI provides support for program project grants in the belief that a collaborative research effort can accelerate the acquisition of knowledge more effectively than a simple aggregate of research projects that have no interaction or thematic integration.

The Institute is particularly interested in encouraging new scientific directions in program project grants. The P01 mechanism is viewed as an opportunity to attract scientists who have not traditionally been supported by the NHLBI. However, all projects must be interrelated and have objectives that address a central theme within the scientific mandate of the Institute.


Written By: Shivani Singh, Sr. Writer, Department of Pediatrics s1singh@ucsd.edu

SCIENTIFIC CONTACT: Dr. Gabriel G. Haddad, Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Physician-in-Chief, Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego, Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Respiratory Medicine, 858-966-8536