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Release: Dec. 14, 1999

UI researcher receives $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health

IOWA CITY, Iowa – University of Iowa Health Care researcher Andrew Russo, Ph.D., associate professor of physiology and biophysics, has received a five-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue his investigation of a compound associated with migraines and stroke.

Russo and investigators in his laboratory will use the funding to learn more about how the body regulates a neuropeptide known as the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). The peptide compound is involved in several neurovascular disorders, most notably migraines and subarachnoid hemorrhage, a type of stroke.

"Despite its importance in physiological and disease states, the regulation of CGRP production is not well understood," Russo said.

The Russo investigative team will study the roles that nerves play in controlling CGRP production. The researchers also plan to look at how inflammatory agents involved in migraine and stroke affect the levels of the neuropeptide in model systems.

"We hope to identify the signal transduction pathways and transcription factors that are important for controlling CGRP neuropeptide gene expression in neurons," Russo said. "This information will potentially provide new targets for therapeutic strategies designed to regulate and control CGRP levels and potentially provide insight into migraines and stroke."

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