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ACRI, UAMS Scientist Receives $300,000 from American Heart Association

09.09.2019

LITTLE ROCK, AR. (Sept. 5, 2019) – A scientist at Arkansas Children’s Research Institute (ACRI) and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is leading research to make kidney transplants easier and more survivable for patients.

Dr. Nirmala Parajuli, a scientist at ACRI and an assistant professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the UAMS College of Medicine, received a $300,000 grant from the American Heart Association (AHA) to study a protein that has been identified as pivotal in improving outcomes of transplant patients who receive kidneys kept in cold storage before transplant.

Through the three-year study, Dr. Parajuli and her team hope to identify the underlying mechanisms of renal damage related to cold storage of the organs. They aim to develop targeted therapies for cold storage of kidneys, decreasing poor transplant outcomes including the incidence of transplant-associated cardiovascular disease, a significant interest of the AHA and the leading cause of death in patients with end-stage kidney disease.

“We are excited to explore how we can make kidney transplants safer by adopting targeted therapies to be used when the organs are placed in cold storage,” Dr. Parajuli said. “We see this as an opportunity to create a healthier tomorrow for patients with kidney disease and are grateful for the American Heart Association’s support.”

Dr. Parajuli receives support from ACRI’s Center for Translational Pediatric Research (P20GM121293), which provides her research program with technical infrastructure and scientific guidance, and the Arkansas Biosciences Institute, the major research component of the Tobacco Settlement Proceeds Act of 2000.

ABOUT ARKANSAS CHILDREN’S

Arkansas Children's, Inc. is the only healthcare system in the state solely dedicated to caring for Arkansas' 710,000 children, giving the organization a unique ability to shape the landscape of pediatric care in Arkansas and transform the health of children throughout the region. The private, non-profit organization includes two pediatric hospitals, a pediatric research institute and USDA nutrition center, a philanthropic foundation, a nursery alliance, statewide clinics, and many education and outreach programs. Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) is a 336-bed, Magnet-recognized facility in Little Rock operating the state’s only Level I pediatric trauma center; the state's only burn center; the state's only Level IV neonatal intensive care unit; the state's only pediatric intensive care unit; and the state's only nationally recognized pediatric transport program. Additionally, ACH is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report in four pediatric subspecialties (2018-19): Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Nephrology, Neurology & Neurosurgery and Pulmonology. Arkansas Children’s Northwest (ACNW), the first and only pediatric hospital in the Northwest Arkansas region, opened in Springdale in early 2018. ACNW operates a 24-bed inpatient unit; a surgical unit with five operating rooms; outpatient clinics offering over 20 subspecialties; diagnostic services; imaging capabilities; occupational therapy services; and Northwest Arkansas' only pediatric emergency department, equipped with 30 exam rooms. Generous philanthropic and volunteer engagement has sustained Arkansas Children's since it began as an orphanage in 1912, and today ensures the system can fundamentally transform the health of children in Arkansas and beyond. To learn more, visit archildrens.org.

ACRI is a free-standing state-of-the-art pediatric research center which provides a research environment on the ACH campus to foster research and scholarship of faculty members of University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences who are investigating questions relative to development, disease and treatment as it relates to the health of infants, children and adolescents. Physician and biomedical scientist investigators at ACRI and the Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center (ACNC) conduct clinical, basic science, and health services research for the purpose of treating illnesses and preventing disease and thereby, improving the health of the children of Arkansas and beyond.
 

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report named UAMS Medical Center the state’s Best Hospital; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide; and named six areas as high performing — cancer, colon cancer surgery, heart failure, hip replacement, knee replacement and lung cancer surgery. UAMS has 2,727 students, 870 medical residents and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on FacebookTwitterYouTube or Instagram

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