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UMN researchers find the link between heart and blood cells in early development

New research from the University of Minnesota reveals endoglin as a critical factor in determining the fate of early undifferentiated cells during development. Endoglin, a receptor involved in cell signaling, has previously been known mostly for its function in blood vessels and angiogenesis. In a new paper published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers showed endoglin modulates key signaling pathways to encourage early cells to develop into blood cells at the expense of the heart.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research snapshot: Effects of beta-blocker withdrawal in acute decompensated heart failure

Responsible for approximately 1 million hospitalizations each year, acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF), poses a challenge for health care professionals. To combat high mortality rates, patients with heart failure are often treated with beta-blockers, medications that can prevent further weakening of the heart.

A recent study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology-Heart Failure from the University of Minnesota Medical School found the discontinuation of beta-blockers in ADHF patients was associated with a significant increase in mortality and rehospitalization.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research snapshot: Potential therapeutic target for cardiomyopathy identified

New research out of the University of Minnesota Medical School shows a new potential therapeutic target for viruses causing cardiomyopathy, or disease of the heart muscle.

The paper was published in the July 2015 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

Research led by Joseph Metzger, Ph.D., looked at potential causes for cardiomyopathy, specifically related to enterovirus infection.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Grant Announcement: University of Minnesota receives multimillion-dollar NIH grant to research new heart attack treatments

A University of Minnesota multidisciplinary research team was awarded $2.6 million by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate new treatments for heart attacks. The research will focus on myocardial ischemia and reperfusion injury, which account for over 300,000 deaths each year in the U.S.

Myocardial ischemia occurs when blood flow to the heart muscle is stopped by blocked coronary arteries. The cessation causes the death of heart muscle cells, called necrotic cell death. Instances of a severely blocked coronary artery can result in a heart attack.

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Community programs increase aspirin use among individuals at high-risk for heart disease

Community-based programs combining a public health media campaign and health professional education have been shown to improve population-based aspirin use to reduce heart attack and stroke risk, according to new research from the Lillehei Heart Institute and School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota.

Results were published in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s journal Preventing Chronic Disease.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Active lifestyle: Good for the body and the brain

University of Minnesota researchers have good news for young adults who lead an active lifestyle: By staying active today, you may actually be preserving your memory and thinking skills in middle age.

The findings are most important for the young adults on the low and moderate end of fitness; the people with higher levels of fitness are already doing it right.

“Many studies show the benefits to the brain of good heart health,” said study author David R. Jacobs, Jr., Ph.D., at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. “This is one more important study that should remind young adults of the brain health benefits of cardio fitness activities such as running, swimming, biking or cardio fitness classes.”

Jacobs emphasizes that for those on the lower end of fitness, cardio fitness activities themselves may even not be needed; just moving around in daily life and staying active can improve your future outlook.

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