Research Focus: Part Four

Over a medical research career that spans more than two decades, Stephen M. Black has conducted considerable research on a variety of topics. He currently has six ongoing research projects he is working on with his integrated cardiovascular laboratory at Georgia Regents University.

One of the research projects discussed in Stephen M. Black’s most recent blog post, “Endothelial barrier protection and repair in acute lung injury”, is a Program Project, meaning that the Regents Professor is working with one or more of his colleagues at Georgia Regents University to complete the project. The project is comprised of four interrelated projects and three cores, which all use state-of-the-art biochemical, cellular, molecular, and physiological approaches. Stephen M. Black hopes that the Program Project will provide the medical community with a better understanding of the mechanisms by which RhoA (a small GTPase protein) and Rac1 (a protein found in human cells) are regulated during G- and G+-induced acute lung injury. This data should also help in the development of new strategies and treatments for acute lung injury, which has not seen a major drop in fatalities in over 40 years (learn more on acute lung injury here).

The study’s four inter-related projects are:

Project 1: This project focuses on how protein nitration regulates RhoA and Rac1 signaling during the development of acute lung injury, and makes use of biochemical, cellular, molecular, and animal studies.
Project 2: This project is thematically linked to Project 1, as it deals with determining how heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) impacts RhoA activation and downstream Rac1 signaling.
Project 3: The third project also focuses on RhoA and Rac1, aiming to determine the therapeutic potential of monitoring their expression both in a living organism (in vitro) and in a test tube environment (in vivo).
Project 4: This project investigates the barrier disruptive effects of the G+ pore forming toxins, lysteriolysin and pneumolysin. The results should reveal the mechanisms of RhoA/Rac1 imbalance while exploring the therapeutic potential of enhanced NO signaling for restoring this balance during G+ mediated acute lung injury.

Learn more about Stephen M. Black and his research by connecting with him on Zerply or by reading his blog posts on WordPress:

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