New RO1 grant awarded to Giovanni Ligresti

Dr. Ligresti has been awarded an NIH/NHLBI RO1 grant ($2.8M) to study the role of the pulmonary vasculature in the pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). IPF is a progressive and fatal disease of aging that causes scar tissue to build up in the lung, leading to respiratory failure. Although the lungs of IPF patients feature multiple vascular defects, including capillary rarefaction and abnormal angiogenesis, the impact of these abnormalities on the pathogenesis of IPF has remained largely unexplored.

This proposal will test how aging-associated dysfunction of the pulmonary vasculature contributes to the progression of IPF. Building on their recent discovery that chromatin remodeling in lung endothelial cells deteriorates  with aging and contributes to fibrosis, Dr. Ligresti and his team will investigate aging-associated epigenetic mechanisms by which the pulmonary endothelium becomes dysfunctional and fails to properly repair in response to injury. The long-term goal of these studies is to identify novel vascular targets for the treatment of IPF.