VA and NIH Funding Awarded to Dr. Evi Stavrou

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Disrupting the signaling pathway in neutrophils to help regulate the body's immune response

Dr. Evi Stavrou

Congratulations to Evi Stavrou, MD who has received a VA Biomedical Laboratory Research and Development Merit Review titled Treatment of Deep Vein Thrombosis via Targeted Inhibition of the FXII-uPAR-pAkt2 Axis in Neutrophils. This 4-year $642K project will start in July. In January, Dr. Stavrou received $1.2M for a 5-year National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute R01 project titled Targeted Abrogation of the FXII-uPAR-pAkt2 Axis in Neutrophils for Treatment of Chronic Wounds.

Dr. Stavrou's research has identified a new pathway mediated by a protein termed Factor XII (FXII) that regulates key neutrophil functions. Both projects aim to characterize the interaction between FXII and urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) to design strategies that disrupt their signaling in neutrophils, a subpopulation of white blood cells. While neutrophils play a key role in the front-line defense against invading pathogens, excessive neutrophil-mediated inflammation can lead to adverse outcomes. Dr. Stavrou's work has uncovered that in FXII deficiency, neutrophils function less effectively which leads to decreased inflammation. If successful, these strategies will introduce novel and safer therapies to treat thrombotic disorders and chronic wounds.