September 29, 2021

JI sepsis project helps lead to NIH award

A Joint Institute project to diagnose and combat sepsis, the leading cause of death and readmissions in U.S. hospitals, has garnered funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Assistant Professor of Surgery Yongqing Li, PhD, is the lead investigator on a recently received NIH R01 award to a study that expands on work begun through a pair of JI grants, the first to study the role of citrullinated histone H3 (CitH3) in sepsis, and more recent project to create a humanized CitH3 antibody and its application in diagnosis of and treatment for sepsis-induced lung injury.

“In many ways, this is a continuation of the JI grant and would not be possible without the support of the JI,” said Li of the four-year NIH project.

Announced in August, Li’s project, “PAD2 and CitH3 are involved in pathogenesis of sepsis in humans and animals”, has two specific aims: first, dissect the physiological action of PAD2/CitH3 in modulating macrophage functions during sepsis; and second, perform proof-of-concept studies targeting PAD2 and CitH3 as novel therapeutic targets. The latter will use mouse models Li developed as part of his work through the JI.

He also sought assistance with the application itself through the JI’s Grant Editing Service, led by JI Program Manager Melissa Li, PhD, CRA, ELS.

“Melissa helped me to review and go through my grant proposal, editing and revising,” Yongqing Li said. “She was very thorough and the results speak for themselves.”