Cardenas awarded $1.95 million NIH grant

By Halle Jones, Office of Public Affairs

Dr. Jessica Cardenas
Jessica Cardenas, PhD

A five-year, $1.95 million grant to research novel pathways through which endothelial cells, the inner cellular lining of blood vessels, control inflammation has been awarded to UTHealth Houston researcher Jessica C. Cardenas, PhD, by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Cardenas, assistant professor of surgery, studies the formation of harmful blood clots, also known as thrombosis, which is a serious and life-threatening complication following trauma, sepsis, and burns. During these critical illnesses, inflammation plays a key role in the development of blood clots in the vital organs.

“The overall goal of the project is really to understand the biological role of specific endothelial heparan sulfate molecules, how they regulate inflammation during critical illness, and whether we can leverage that information to develop novel therapeutics for limiting organ injury in the critically ill,” Cardenas said.

The funding (grant No. 1-R35-GM-146859-01), “will support innovative and cutting-edge cell-based and translational experiments that will enable us to increase our basic understanding of how endothelial cells control inflammation and define mechanisms occurring during endothelial dysfunction that drive thrombosis and organ injury,” Cardenas said.