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Role of ATF4 and P53 family transcription factors in the regulation of neuronal cell death

Principal Investigator:
  • Sean Cregan, University of Western Ontario
  • Heart and Stroke Foundation

Project Overview

Stroke is a leading cause of adult long term disability and the third leading cause of death in industrialized countries. Brain cell death following stroke leads to the loss of brain controlled functions such as speech and locomotion. Unfortunately, the factors that control brain cell death during stroke have not been identified. The overall objective of this research project is to identify the factors within brain cells that determine whether they will live or die following a stroke. Dr. Cregan and his team have identified pro-death factors that are activated during brain ischemia(stroke) and in this research project they will determine whether blocking these factors protects brain cells in stroke. They have developed models to mimic stroke conditions in isolated brain cells and mice. They will use drugs and genetic approaches to block the function of potential pro-death factors and determine whether this prevents the brain cells from dying during stroke conditions. Their research is directly aimed at identifying those factors that are involved in regulating brain cell death in stroke. Their research could lead to the identification of novel drug targets to reduce brain damage and minimize functional deficits in individuals affected by stroke.