The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, June 20, 2018 1:00 am

Researcher gets grant of $1.1 million

IU prof to use NIH money to ease stroke inflammation

Journal Gazette

A $1.1 million grant has been awarded to a Fort Wayne medical researcher to potentially reduce brain inflammation due to stroke.

Dr. Jui-Hung “Jimmy” Yen, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at Indiana University School of Medicine-Fort Wayne, was awarded the grant by the National Institutes of Health, the school said in a news release Tuesday. Only 15 percent of applications to the NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, were accepted for funding in 2018, according to the statement.

The money is for research on repurposing interferon-beta, a Food and Drug Administration treatment for multiple sclerosis. The research is aimed at reducing inflammation from ischemic stroke.

Strokes affect nearly 800,000 Americans each year, with 85 percent of those being ischemic strokes caused by a blockage or narrowing of a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain, the release said.

The five-year NIH-funded project builds on previous research by Yen and funded by the American Heart Association and an Indiana University School of Medicine Research Enhancement Grant.

Aside from its scientific potential, Yen's project will add to the personnel and equipment at IU's local School of Medicine.

“What is learned and achieved through this NIH-funded project will move forward better treatments for stroke and hopefully extend the therapeutic effects of tPA, the clot-busting drug that today is the only medication available for ischemic stroke,” Yen said.

“This is a remarkable achievement for Dr. Yen and for the medical school,” said Dr. Fen-Lei Chang, associate dean and director of IUSM-Fort Wayne and executive committee chair of Indiana University Fort Wayne. “IU School of Medicine-Fort Wayne is a regional center focusing on neuroscience and aging research, and as Indiana University Fort Wayne continues to grow its health sciences academic and research programs, the community will benefit now and in the future.”

Yen, one of 11 neuroscience researchers at the Fort Wayne school, joined the local faculty in 2013.

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