ETSU doctor receives $340,000 federal grant

Deling Yin

JOHNSON CITY (May 15, 2015) – Dr. Deling Yin, a professor at East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine, has received a federal grant to study the effect of stress on the immune system.

The $340,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health will allow Yin to continue research he has been working on for more than a decade.

“Everybody gets stress almost every day,” Yin said. “But chronic stress can decrease the immune system and that can make you more susceptible to getting diseases.”

Chronic stress, Yin noted, is any period of stress that lasts more than six hours. It is this type of constant and persistent stress that can be most damaging to the immune system, Yin explained.

Funded by the NIH since 2005, Yin’s previous work on the topic has determined that different genes play important roles in controlling the influence of immune responses during stress. However, the mechanisms by which stress affects the immune system, he explained, remain unclear.

With the new three-year grant, Yin plans to examine the mechanisms through which the immune system is influenced by stress with the hope of developing specific treatments or drugs that may improve the interaction of stress and the immune system.

“If we create the medicine, you could take it before or after you get into a chronic stress situation and it could help keep your immune system stay normal,” Yin said.

Drs. Mohamed Elgazzar and Gregory Hanley, also Quillen faculty members, are co-investigators on the grant.

direct edit