Faculty News Round-Up, May 12

May 12, 2017 by   |   Leave a Comment

UVA School of Medicine Faculty News Weekly Round-Up
May 12

• Discovery About How Heart Forms Sheds Light on Deadly Disease

Kidney research at the University of Virginia School of Medicine has unexpectedly led to a discovery about the formation of the heart, including the identification of a gene responsible for a deadly cardiac condition.

The researchers determined that a particular gene, S1P1, is vital for the proper formation of the heart. Without it, the heart tissue produced by the precursor cells develops a sponginess that compromises the heart’s ability to contract tightly and pump blood efficiently. In people, that is known as ventricular non-compaction cardiomyopathy, a dangerous condition that often leads to early death.

The findings have been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

UVA School of Medicine faculty who worked on the study included the following:
• Brian Belyea, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
• R. Ariel Gomez, Professor of Pediatrics
• Maria Sequeira-Lopez, Professor of Pediatrics

Read more:

• UVA, Inova announce funding for joint-research projects

Nine joint-research teams at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and the Inova Health System have been awarded funding for projects focused on how to better predict, prevent and treat disease. The grants were made through the newly launched Translational Health Research Institute of Virginia (THRIV).

Seven of the grants went to UVA School of Medicine faculty, each teamed with an Inova partner. The funded School of Medicine projects included the following:

• Gut Microbiome of Pediatric ALL Patients and Survivors
Kimberly Dunsmore, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics

• Identification of Gut Microbiome Influences in Early Childhood Obesity
Mark DeBoer, MD, MSc, MCR, Associate Professor of Pediatrics

• Genomic Loci Linked to Biomarkers of Cardiac Injury, Fibrosis, and Heart Failure
Josyf Mychaleckyj, MA, PhD, Associate Professor of Public Health Sciences

• The Influence of Feeding Modality on Infant Gut Microbiome Development and Growth Outcomes
Sean Moore, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Pediatrics

• Microdeletion Mutations and Their Correlation with MicroDNA in Humans
Anindya Dutta, MD, PhD, Harry F. Byrd Professor and Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Professor of Pathology

• Phagocytosis, Proteomics, and Implications for Metabolic Diseases
Kodi Ravichandran, PhD, Professor and Chair of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology

• Identification of Circulating RCNs as a Novel Predictive Biomarker of Coronary Artery Disease
Weibin Shi, PhD, Professor of Radiology and Medical Imaging, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

The other two grants were made to faculty from the School of Engineering and the School of Nursing. For the full list of grantees, visit:

Read more:

And keep your eyes open: on Monday, we will post an interview with Karen Johnston, MD, MSc, Associate Vice President for Clinical & Translational Research, about the services and funding opportunities that THRIV offers to faculty.

Did we miss something? If you have UVA School of Medicine faculty news to share, please email


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