Nearly all heart attacks stem from the rupture or erosion of atherosclerotic plaque buildup in coronary arteries. Although knowledge of plaque rupture has increased in recent decades, relatively little is known about plaque erosion—even though it may cause up to 40% of all heart attacks. Plaque erosion is characterized by the loss of endothelial cells (ECs) forming the inner lining of coronary arteries, leading to thrombosis (formation of a blood clot) in the absence of plaque rupture.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has awarded Dario F. Riascos Bernal, M.D., Ph.D., a five-year, $2.19M grant to study the molecular mechanisms affecting EC respiration. Dr. Riascos Bernal and colleagues will focus on finding mitochondrial mechanisms that may help to maintain arterial health and promote repair of ECs during plaque erosion. The findings may lead to strategies for treating or preventing heart attacks.
Dr. Riascos Bernal is an assistant professor of medicine and of developmental and molecular biology at Einstein. (1R01HL163192-01A1)
Posted on: Tuesday, February 14, 2023