A researcher from UT Health Northeast has just been awarded a grant worth $100,000 by the American Society of Hematology (ASH) to fund his work on understanding blood clotting and its complications.
Vijay Rao, Ph.D, a professor of biochemistry, along with a team of fellow researchers are currently studying a protein called “tissue factor” that is known to initiate the clotting process. According to Dr. Rao, this intracellular protein is normally idle unless catalyzed by the event of an injury or disease. Rao and his team’s objective is to better understand how the tissue factor is activated and deactivated to better prevent heart attacks and strokes.
For the past 25 years, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has backed Rao’s work, but recently opted not to renew his funding due to the institution’s budget cuts. The ASH Bridge Grants aim to pick up where NIH left off, granting support to investigators like Rao who’ve garnered high NIH scores, but were not able to make the funding cutoff.
This year’s ASH funding went to a total of 14 scientists, with Rao being one of them. It was last summer, in 2012, when the organization pledged $9 million to be distributed among 30 grants per year from 2013 to 2015.