UMKC Awarded Nearly $2 Million to Study Neuroprotection in Stroke

The grant funds research that could help develop better treatment for stroke recovery
Xiangming Zha stands in his lab and smiles at the camera while leaning against a counter filled with equipment.

Xiangming Zha, Ph.D., School of Pharmacy, received a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to study how part of the brain is affected during a stroke.

Zha will study how the GPR4 protein affects the blood-brain barrier during a stroke. The blood-brain barrier is a structure that regulates movement of nutrients and signals between the bloodstream and brain. Understanding how to protect this barrier may help us develop better therapeutic treatments for people recovering from strokes.

The grant, which is funded through the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, includes $387,295 for the first year and a total of $1.94 million over five years.

“This NIH grant ensures support for this lab and our research for the next five years,” said Zha. “I am thankful for this team of collaborators and students; the research they are doing is important to help better understand the brain and improve outcomes in stroke patients.”

Zha has been researching the brain for years and has several projects in process at UMKC. School of Pharmacy faculty William Guthiel, Ph.D., and School of Medicine faculty Xiangping Chu, Ph.D., are collaborating on this research and will continue to do so, along with postdoctoral fellow and graduate students.

The National Institutes of Health, a federal medical research agency, is the largest public funder of biomedical research in the world. The organization invests more than $32 billion annually to reduce illness and disability and improve quality of life.

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Published: Jul 20, 2022

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