Failure fund: A chunky National Institutes of Health grant will support Long Island scientists investigating innovative, potentially life-saving responses to diabetic heart failure.
The New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine has landed a three-year, $428,400 grant from the NIH’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, fueling research by Biomedical Sciences Instructor Satoru Kobayashi centered around diabetic heart failure, which occurs when excess blood sugar damages cardiovascular tissue. Team Kobayashi is using fluorescent microscopy and other cutting-edge imaging technology to zero in on lysosomes, tiny structures that – when healthy – repair and maintain heart muscle cells.
Damaged lysosomes, particularly those damaged by diabetes, stop heart cells from repairing themselves – sending Kobayashi and a multidisciplined collaboration of New York Tech researchers on a quest for new diabetic heart failure treatments. “Excess blood sugar may lower [lysosomes’] acidity, impairing the cell’s defense system,” Kobayashi noted. “Even worse, the injured lysosomes leak acids and undigested wastes … this may explain why the diabetic heart cannot heal itself.”