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Center of Excellence for Inflammation, Infectious Disease & Immunity

Quillen College of Medicine

Center News

Dr. Krishna Singh Receives $423,000 Federal Grant

Dr. Krishna Singh, a professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences in East Tennessee State Universitys Quillen College of Medicine and physiologist at the Quillen VA Medical Center, has received a $423,485 grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Through the grant, Singh will research the role of a protein called ATM, or ataxia telangiectasia mutated kinase, in ischemic heart disease.

Mutations in the ATM gene cause a rare genetic disorder known as Ataxia-telangiectasia, or A-T, which affects multiple organs in the body and leads to severe disability. Individuals carrying both copies of the mutated ATM gene die in their teens or early 20s. Patients with one normal and one mutated copy of the ATM gene are spared from most of the symptoms of the disease. However, they are more susceptible to cancer and ischemic heart disease.

Krishna Singh


 The aim of this research is to identify a link between ATM and ischemic heart disease, and to understand why ATM deficient patients are more susceptible to ischemic heart disease, Singh said. Loss of heart muscle cells during heart attack compromises the normal functioning of the heart.

The investigations will be focused on examining the role of ATM in heart muscle cell death and heart function.

Drs. Mahipal Singh and Gary Wright will join Singh as co-investigators in the research effort.

Singh also currently holds a VA Merit Review Award from the Department of Veterans Affairs for nearly $1 million to study the role of a protein called osteopontin in heart disease.

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