AHA, nonprofit offer two $1.5 million grants for cardiovascular extracellular matrix research

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The American Heart Association (AHA) and the Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group are offering two $1.5 million grants to investigators working on cardiovascular extracellular matrix (ECM) research.

The initiative, which was announced on April 11, is focused on funding research that addresses the role of the ECM in cardiovascular physiology and pathophysiology. Paul G. Allen, thge co-founder of Microsoft, founded the eponymous Frontiers Group last year to fund bioscience ideas and projects.

Approaches could include multi-omic evaluations, data computation, cell biology, bioengineering, multiscale modeling and/or imaging, according to a description of the grants.

The eligibility requirements include a PhD and/or an MD or an equivalent degree as well as a faculty appointment at an eligible nonprofit institution in the U.S. or an equivalent faculty position at a foreign University. Federal government employees in the U.S. are not eligible to apply.

Researchers must apply for the grants by May 10. The winners will be announced June 19.

Each of the two winners will receive $500,000 annually for three years.

“ECM plays a defining role in the initiation and progression of major cardiovascular diseases, including ischemic heart disease, hypertensive heart disease, pediatric and adult cardiomyopathies and congenital cardiovascular malformations, atherosclerosis and vascular disease, and cerebrovascular disease,” the description of the grants reads. “We also seek to explore a new paradigm in ECM biology, which views the ECM as an ‘information storage medium,’ that may harbor detailed and long-lasting information of significance to tissue/organ function and remodeling, and outlasts the lifetime of some parenchymal cells. Advances in our understanding of ECM structure and function will yield new approaches to the prevention, detection and treatment of these cardiovascular disease states and also provide potential translation to other organ systems.”