Howard University Research Scientist Award

  • Principal Investigator: Victor R. Gordeuk, MD 
  • Co-Investigator: Sergei A. Nekhai, PhD

The long-term goal of this grant is to establish at Howard University, a historically African American institution, a strong molecular genetics research program. The program envisioned will greatly enhance research within the Howard University College of Medicine in the area of genetic hemoglobin disorders while concurrently working towards increasing the number of minority individuals involved in biomedical research. The program will focus on the basic research needed for a greater understanding of the hemoglobinopathies at the molecular genetics level and for the eventual design of DNA-based treatment strategies. The underlying theme of the research we now envision relates to reducing health disparities and to enhancing excellence in research into heart, lung and blood diseases at Howard University.

Scientific Specific Aims:
  1. Disordered iron metabolism in sickle cell disease and HIV infection- elucidate the role of altered iron metabolism in the pathogenesis of sickle cell disease and HIV disease.
  2. The hypoxic response and sickle cell disease, congenital polycythemia, and HIV- clarify the role of the hypoxic response in the complications of sickle cell disease by comparing patients with sickle cell disease and congenital polycythemia at the clinical and molecular levels. Examine the effect of the hypoxic response on HIV transcription.
  3. Immune response and anemia in malaria and HIV disease- determine whether alterations in the immune response and in iron metabolism are related to the degree of anemia in malaria and HIV disease.

Educational Specific Aims:

  1. Developmental research projects- provide pilot projects for faculty and junior investigators of Howard University and help them develop independent research support.
  2. Laboratory research training activities- provide laboratory experience to undergraduate, MS and PhD students at Howard University.
  3. Research collaborations with other institutions nationally and internationally- develop new and expand existing collaborations.
  4. Organize research seminars at Howard University- bring leading investigators from these collaborating institutions for seminars at Howard University.