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New Research Provides New Answers for Patient Care

Donate to The CHEST FoundationBy: The CHEST Foundation

Chest physicians strive to make a distinctive and far-reaching impact on the quality of people’s lives. The CHEST Foundation echoes this sentiment, giving nearly $9 million to support research and education since its inception in 1996.

Research grants are given in the areas of lung cancer; pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), COPD, and alpha-1antitrypsin deficiency (A1T1); women’s lung health; pulmonary, critical care, cardiovascular, or sleep medicine; and end-of-life care. The Clinical Research Grant in PAH was given for the first time in 2012 to Corey E. Ventetuolo, MD, MS. The grant provided the opportunity to support Dr. Ventetuolo early in her career in an area in which little research had been done.

 Dr. Ventetuolo 
Dr. Ventetuolo is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Health Services, Policy, and Practice at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Dr. Ventetuolo’s research project, The Menstrual Cycle, Angiogenesis, and Right Ventricular Function in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, resulted in interesting preliminary findings and led to more funding from the National Institutes of Health to support a larger study.

In a recent interview, Dr. Ventetuolo shared some highlights about her research findings.

“Female sex is the best established risk factor for PAH, implying estrogen has a detrimental effect on the pulmonary vasculature. Despite greater disease prevalence, it appears that women have preserved right ventricular (RV) function and survival compared with men with PAH. Surprisingly, there has been little clinical research devoted to defining the role of sex and sex hormones in pulmonary vascular and RV function.”

Dr. Ventetuolo’s research could lead to more treatments for PAH. She explained, “Linking sex hormone fluctuations to angiogenesis and the RV could open new avenues for research into the mechanisms of right heart failure, including promising new treatments that alter hormones in women (and men) with pulmonary vascular disease.”

With the support of the generous CHEST Foundation donors and funding from a grant provided by Actelion Pharmaceuticals, US, Inc., Dr. Ventetuolo was able to develop as an independent investigator and address a critical knowledge gap in PAH.

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