Dr. Rajkumar Verma receives 2 million R01 grant for his work on ischemic stroke

Stroke remains a leading cause of disability in the United States. Stroke is a heterogeneous multifactorial disorder. Prior attempts at developing new therapies have failed in clinics due to imperfect target validation, unrealistic therapeutic windows and lack of age appropriate models. Thus, there is an opportunity and a need to identify new medical treatment for stroke. The immune cells move to stroke area in the brain and contribute to damage. In collaboration with Dr. Bruce Liang of Calhoun Cardiology department, we have recently shown that the purinergic P2X4 receptor is excessively stimulated by adenosine triphosphate (ATP) released by dying brain cells during stroke (PMID: 28751018 and 32289314). This receptor protein then causes activation of the immune cells in acute phase of injury and results in greater stroke injury. We hypothesized that blocking or deleting this receptor protein during the acute phase of stroke is beneficial in translational relevant aging mouse model. This NIH R01 grant work is built on previous work done by Dr. Verma and his team as an AHA Career development awardee to discover therapeutic implication and mechanism of P2X4R activation in mouse model of ischemic stroke. For more information about this project and potential employment opportunities please visit Verma lab (https://health.uconn.edu/verma-lab)