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Ping Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.

Researcher Receives $1.4 Million Award from National Institute of General Medical Sciences/NIH

Septic infection is a potentially life-threatening condition, and a new award of $1,404,000 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health will allow Ping Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., to study its nuances.

A professor and the Watanakunakorn Chair of Integrative Medical Sciences – as well as a professor of surgery – at Northeast Ohio Medical University, Dr. Zhang was funded for his project titled “Sca-1 signaling, EPC, and the inflammatory response to septic infection.”

Dr. Zhang explains, “The systemic inflammatory response to septic infection causes widespread injury in blood vessels. The bone marrow houses endothelial progenitor cells, which can participate in maintaining and/or restoring the integrity of vasculature.

“This project investigates mechanisms underlying the bone marrow endothelial progenitor cell response to septic infection, which will help to identify therapeutic targets for effective treatment  when vital organs are injured.”

Dr. Zhang is one of a group of nine NEOMED collaborators who focus on stem cell and regenerative medicine within the University’s Heart and Blood Vessel Disease Research Focus Area.