PHA Proof of Concept Research Grant Winner 2013

Jiwang Chen, PhD

Jiwang Chen, PhD

Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Sleep
University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago
Title: “Role of IL7/IL7R in the Pathogenesis of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension”
Term: December 1, 2013- November 30, 2014

Summary of Research Project:

Dr. Chen’s project will expand upon his preliminary findings that a) some PH patients have higher levels of a protein called IL7 than non-patients and b) mice that are engineered so that they do not express IL7 receptor are protected against hypoxia-mediated PH. First, he will collect samples from patients to ensure that an elevated IL7 level is in fact a marker of PH. He will then study how IL7 is involved in PH pathogenesis, and explore if a therapy that blocks IL7 expression reverses PH in sick mice. If the animal treatment trials are successful, Dr. Chen believes that clinical trials that examine whether IL7 or IL7 receptor blockade is an effective therapy in human PH patients will be offered in the near future.