Dr. Robyn J. Barst Pediatric PH Research and Mentoring Fund Grant Winner 2013

Melanie Nies, MDMelanie Nies, MD

Instructor in the Division of Pediatric Cardiology
Johns Hopkins University
Title: “Pulmonary Hypertension Biomarkers”
Term: December 1, 2013 through November 30, 2014

This Barst Fund Award is made possible through a generous donation to PHA from Ms. Betty Lou Wojciechowski in honor of her two late sons, Matthew and Michael, who lost their battle to PH as children.

Summary of Research Project:

The best available tool for diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring of pulmonary hypertension remains multiple cardiac catheterizations. However, new tests that are both reliable and non-invasive are desperately needed; cardiac catheterizations are highly invasive and carry a risk of infection, bleeding, blood vessel injury, clot formation, and death, especially in pediatric patients. In addition, many children cannot use other traditional adult tests for monitoring the success of their treatment. Dr. Nies will work to identify proteins that can be quantified using simple blood tests. If her test is found to be a reliable diagnostic and therepeutic monitoring tool, physicians will be able to diagnose the emergence and progression of PH in a children without the risks associated with traditional tests.