Silver Spring, Md. (April 6, 2017) – The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) congratulates Olivier Boucherat, Ph.D., L’Université Laval in Québec, the recipient of its first Aldrighetti Research Award for Young Investigators. PHA is the world’s first and the United States’ only nonprofit provider of support and educational resources and programs for the pulmonary hypertension (PH) patient, medical and research community.
PH is a debilitating lung disease that can lead to death from right-sided heart failure. Common symptoms of PH include shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain. Consequently, PH is often misdiagnosed — for example as asthma — leading to delays in proper treatment that cost patients valuable time. PH can exist alone or in association with other illnesses including congestive heart disease, COPD, scleroderma, sickle cell and many other diseases.
Boucherat will use the two-year $80,000 Aldrighetti Research Award for Young Investigators to further his research into how certain proteins affect the growth of cells common in embryonic development of some forms of PH. Specifically, his work looks at how certain “forkhead box (Fox)” proteins necessary for multiplication of pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) in lung development are abnormally reactivated in adult lung arteries. Overproduction and slow deterioration of PASMCs occur with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), one form of PH.
PHA established the grant with support from Actelion Pharmaceuticals as a tribute to Rino Aldrighetti, PHA’s first chief executive officer, who retired in 2016. The Aldrighetti Research Award for Young Investigators’ is a two-year $80,000 grant. PHA will make the award annually through 2021 to support the early-careers investigators who are likely to make a strong and sustained impact in PAH research.
PHA’s Research Program has committed approximately $8 million to PH research at many levels which have included the search for new methods for early detection; to new treatments to prevent the onset of PH to science searching for cures for the complex disease. In partnership with the ATS Foundation, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and others, PHA has funded more than 75 research projects as part of five independently reviewed cutting-edge research programs.
About the Pulmonary Hypertension Association
Headquartered in Silver Spring, Md., the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) is the country’s leading pulmonary hypertension organization. PHA’s mission is to extend and improve the lives of those affected by PH; its vision is a world without PH, empowered by hope. PHA achieves this by connecting and working together with the entire PH community of patients, families; health care professionals and researchers. For more information and to learn how you can support PH patients, visit www.PHAssociation.org and connect with PHA on Twitter and Instagram @PHAssociation and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PulmonaryHypertensionAssociation.