Johns Hopkins and Cleveland Clinic Team Up to Participate in $20 Million Award to Study Sugar Molecules


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One example of glycan molecules (in green) produced by stressed smooth muscle. Credit: Carol de la Motte, Cleveland Clinic

Over the next five years, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, will award approximately $20 million to four academic centers to launch the National Career Development Consortium for Excellence in Glycosciences Training.

The award aims to train the next generation of researchers in the study of glycans, the ubiquitous sugar molecules involved in nearly every aspect of cellular life, and their roles in human development and health.

The centers include:

•  UC San Diego Program for Career Development in Glycosciences

• Johns Hopkins-Cleveland Clinic Program for Career Development in Glycosciences (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic)

• BloodCenter of Wisconsin Program for Career Development in Glycosciences (BloodCenter of Wisconsin’s Blood Research Institute, Medical College of Wisconsin, Virginia Commonwealth University and Roswell Park Cancer Institute)

•  Harvard Program for Career Development in Glycosciences (Harvard University)

As part of the consortium, scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Cleveland Clinic will leverage their expertise to train at least 10 postdoctoral fellows and physician-scientists in glycosciences over the next five years. The goal of the program is to develop a pipeline of investigators with expertise in both glycoscience and clinical disciplines. With a cross-specialty approach to training, participants in the program will develop a strong foundation in glycoscience and its impact on diseases, including heart failure and diabetes, say the program leaders. The program builds on previous glycoscience initiatives led by Johns Hopkins totaling $32 million.

Trainees in the new program will have two mentors: one in glycosciences and another in a clinical discipline. They’ll receive didactic and laboratory training, as well as professional development opportunities. Among the research areas of interest are heart, lung, blood and sleep disorders.

Glycoscience experts participating in the program include Carol de la Motte, Jerry Hart, Vince Hascall, Ronald Midura, Ronald Schnaar and Natasha Zachara. Participating scientists with expertise in clinical models include Mark Anderson, Mark Aronica, Robert Brodsky, Linda Graham, David Kass, Jean Kim, Enid Neptune, Ed Maytin, George Muschler, Anne Murphy, Brian O’Rourke, Raed Dweik, Mitchell Olman and Robert Weiss.


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