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NIH Grant Awarded for Multiple Sclerosis Research

Posted Sep. 29, 2012

Professors Jennifer McDonough (PI) and Ernie Freeman (PI) (Department of Biological Sciences) together with Professor Roger Gregory (co-PI) (Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry) have been awarded a two-year, $398,682 grant from the National Institutes of Health to support their project “Neuronal Expression of Hemoglobin in Multiple Sclerosis Cortex.”

Hemoglobin is a protein that transports oxygen in the blood, but surprisingly, it is also expressed by neurons and may be involved in neuronal respiration. Recent work by the research group at Kent found that hemoglobin expression is increased in multiple sclerosis brain tissue compared with controls [Broadwater et al, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 1812 (2011) 630–641]. The goal of this NIH funded research is to understand the regulation and function of hemoglobin expression in neurons, as well as the distribution and extent of hemoglobin expression in the brain and its significance to the neuropathology of multiple sclerosis.

 Dr. Roger Gregory
Dr. Roger Gregory

Hemoglobin expression in multiple sclerosis postmortem brain tissue detected by immunofluorescent staining with antibodies to hemoglobin (red) and neurofilament (green).