Pulmonary Hypertension Unit

Research & Clinical Trials

Basic Science – The face of research

Over the last decade, incredible strides have been made in understanding the disease process in PAH and developing targeted therapies, some of which have disease modifying potential. Currently much work is being done on the international stage that promise even more advances, improving the quality of life, slowing the progress of PAH and positively effecting survival. Some of the research initiatives currently leading the way today include assessing the benefits of combination therapy, formulating new and innovative drugs and novel ways to administer drug therapy, improving surgical techniques and transplant survival.

Research initiatives are looking at the regenerative qualities of bone marrow, the use of anticancer drugs to help repair diseased pulmonary blood vessels, and the use of cell -based gene therapy to facilitate growth of damaged pulmonary vessels with healthy cells.

On all fronts, such progress provides new hope to those diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. The rapid pace of research makes it more important than ever to stay informed. Click on participant information for more information on clinical trial involvement.

The program for respiratory diseases at the centre for lung health believes that involvement in basic and clinical research is paramount to advancing progress in respiratory and pulmonary vascular disease. Basic scientific research is likely to lead the way in establishing new ways to modify disease processes, improve survival and improve quality of life. Intensive efforts are underway by researchers to better comprehend the genetics of many diseases in respiratory and pulmonary vascular disease. In particular, scientists have discovered that people with a specific BMPR2 gene mutation are more predisposed to developing pulmonary hypertension than those that do not have the gene. In the future, who knows perhaps gene therapies may be able to correct genetic abnormalities that sometimes underlie certain pulmonary vascular conditions.

In particular the pulmonary hypertension program has established a strong working relationship with Professor Paul McLoughlin and his team or researchers at the Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, University College Dublin. This work is looking at certain key chemical characteristics which are found in those with patients pulmonary hypertension. The aim is to work closely with our colleagues in UCD and develop initiatives in translational medicine, looking at transferring what is learnt at the lab bench and bringing it to the patient in the form of future drug development

For further information on the Conway research institute click on the following link:
http://www.ucd.ie/conway/

Recent work

‘Lung Selective Gene Responses to Alveolar Hypoxia: Potential Role for the Bone Morphogenetic Antagonist Gremlin in Pulmonary Hypertension’.
American Journal of Physiology – Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology,
295 (2):L272-L284.