Research 2003: Spirit of Inquiry
 MU Office of Research Home page. Year In Review. Technology Development. Sponsored Research. Instruction & Public Service. 2003 & Beyond.

Annual Report 2003 Query Tool

Investigators Reach New High in Research Expenditures

Cancer Imaging With Radiopharmaceuticals

Arthritis Rehabilitation Research and Training

A Home for Swine Studies

Rethinking Mathematics Instruction

Seeking Answers to Coronary Artery Disease

Director Named for LSC

Maize Genome Mapping Project Nears Completion

Seeking Answers to Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease kills thousands of men and women in the United States each year. Researchers have long known that obesity and physical inactivity are a major risk factor for condition, and that exercise is an effective way to stay heart healthy. But the genetic process regulating the relationship between exercise and disease-free arteries is less well understood.

In October, the National Institutes of Health awarded a $3.5 million, 5-year grant to a pair of MU researchers working to learn more about the process behind the formation of potentially deadly plaque deposits in coronary arteries. MU researchers Harold Laughlin and Ed Rucker will focus on the activities of a particular gene that they believe is important in maintaining artery health. Laughlin and Rucker are eager to learn, for example, whether the gene is affected by regular exercise.

"Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in the United States," says Laughlin, professor and chair of veterinary biomedical sciences. "We'll be using the pig as a model for our research because pigs' vascular system is very similar to humans. Some of our research will be looking at whether we can produce the enzyme that the gene produces in order to build healthier arteries."

Laughlin said the recent announcement of a new Swine Resource Research Center, along with the demonstrated expertise of MU faculty to diagnose the effects of exercise on the human body, were the reasons that MU was awarded the grant.

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