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GEN’s editorial staff interviews life science academic and biotech industry leaders on important research, technology, and trends. These podcasts will keep you informed with all the important details you need.

A protein has been found that influences the response of the heart to a lack of oxygen and blood flow, such as occurs during a heart attack, reports a team of Yale School of Medicine researchers. The results of this study may present a new therapeutic approach to treating loss of blood flow and oxygen to the heart.

During this week’s podcast, Dr. Richard Bucala, co-author of the paper which appeared in Nature (451, 578-582, 31 Jan 2008, Letter), discusses his team’s finding that macrophage migration inhibitory factor influences the response of the heart to a lack of oxygen and blood flow. He also provides details on how MIF affects the heart’s response. Since MIF had previously been shown to regulate the immune response and the body’s response to infection, he talks about how his research team built on this knowledge to shed light on MIF’s impact on the heart.

Dr. Bucala talks about how the new finding might lead to a new therapeutic method for treating loss of blood flow and oxygen to the heart and describes research his group has planned to further our understanding of MIF's influence on the heart’s response to lack of oxygen and blood flow.
Richard Bucala, M.D., Ph.D. focuses his research on the mechanisms by which host immunity converts from a protective response to one producing disease and tissue pathology. Dr. Bucala received his B.S. and M.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University, and his combined M.D./Ph.D. degree from Rockefeller University. After post-doctoral work in Molecular Biology at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, Dr. Bucala trained in Internal Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. In 1988, he returned to the Rockefeller University and underwent sub-specialty training in Rheumatology at the Hospital for Special Surgery. After faculty positions at Rockefeller and the Picower Institute, he was recruited to Yale to become Professor of Medicine. Ongoing research interests encompass the molecular biology and human genetics of MIF, the innate immune response to infectious diseases including malaria, and fibrosing disorders.

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