Dr. Chuanfu Li receives $2.19 million NIH grant
Research focuses on cardiovascular dysfunction in sepsis
JOHNSON CITY (Oct. 12, 2020) – The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded East Tennessee State University’s Dr. Chuanfu Li a $2.19 million R01 grant to research the role of lactate in sepsis-induced cardiovascular dysfunction.
Li is a professor in the Department of Surgery at Quillen College of Medicine and is also a member of the ETSU Center of Excellence in Inflammation, Infectious Disease, and Immunity (CIIDI). He was recently named one of the inaugural Quillen Distinguished Research Fellows.
Li and his laboratory group have made a novel discovery that high levels of lactate directly cause vascular dysfunction and cardiomyopathy in polymicrobial sepsis. The recent NIH grant will allow Li and his group to continue their novel research in this area and further explore lactate mediated cardiovascular dysfunction during sepsis.
Sepsis is life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection. Cardiovascular dysfunction is a major complication associated with sepsis-induced morbidity and mortality. Clinical data shows that lactate levels correlate strongly and positively with severity, morbidity and mortality in sepsis. Although lactate is a well-accepted biomarker of sepsis, recent evidence indicates that lactate may play a pathophysiological role in sepsis-induced cardiovascular dysfunction.
“Our findings suggest that high levels of lactate exert deleterious effects on cardiovascular function during sepsis,” said Li.
Li has been funded by two additional NIH R01 grants since 2003 and 2009. He is joined by Dr. David L. Williams, professor within the Department of Surgery, and Dr. John Kalbfleisch, professor at Quillen College of Medicine. Each investigator is also a member of CIIDI.
To learn more about the ETSU Center of Excellence in Inflammation, Infectious Disease, and Immunity, visit www.etsu.edu/com/ciidi.