Donald W. Reynolds Foundation awards UT Southwestern $12 million to continue Dallas Heart Study

DALLAS Aug. 26, 2004 A $12 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation to UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas will allow researchers to continue the Dallas Heart Study, a groundbreaking investigation of cardiovascular disease involving thousands of Dallas County residents.

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation's two-year grant to the Donald W. Reynolds Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center at UT Southwestern supplements previous foundation grants awarded to UT Southwestern totaling $30 million, bringing total Reynolds Foundation support for UT Southwestern to $42 million.

The Foundation's initial grant created the Donald W. Reynolds Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center in 1999.

The new grant will be used to continue research into the prevention and treatment of heart disease caused by atherosclerosis, or plaque buildup in the inner lining of the arteries, and by heart enlargement, which can lead to heart failure. Heart failure is the No. 1 cause of mortality in the United States and affects 5 million Americans, with more than 400,000 new cases identified each year. It also is the top cause of hospitalization for adults and accounts for more than $30 billion a year in health-care costs.

Reynolds Center researchers are using molecular and clinical research techniques to examine a large multi-ethnic group of individuals from Dallas County, to develop new biotechnology and to establish a novel training program for scientists-physicians.

Major discoveries by center-affiliated investigators since 1999 include:

  • Identification of key chemical signals that change a stem cell into a heart cell, which may lead to the ability to produce heart cells in the lab to repair a failing heart
  • Discovery of chemical signals needed for normal heart development, as well as signals involved in abnormal growth of the heart, which may lead to new drugs to prevent heart failure
  • Discovery of genes that protect

  • Contact: Amanda Siegfried
    UT Southwestern Medical Center

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