Y chromosome link to heart disease recognised with international award

Posted by er134 at May 23, 2013 11:52 AM |
University of Leicester researcher wins European Atherosclerosis Society award for pioneering study

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 23 May 2013

Photograph of Dr Maciej Tomaszewski available from er134@le.ac.uk

A study into the role of the Y chromosome in determining the likelihood of developing coronary artery disease has led to a prestigious international award for a University of Leicester scientist.

Dr Maciej Tomaszewski, a Clinical Senior Lecturer in Cardiovascular Medicine at the University’s Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, has won the European Atherosclerosis Young Investigator Award in Clinical Research from the European Atherosclerosis Society. The research was funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

These highly competitive awards recognise excellence in the research field of atherosclerosis/cardiovascular disease. Each year European Atherosclerosis Society Scientific Committee selects the two best manuscripts published in the previous calendar year - one in basic science and one in clinical research – by ‘young scientists’ 40 years or younger.

The winning study, published in the Lancet and which was led by Dr Tomaszewski, reported that genetic variation within the male-specific region of the human Y chromosome plays a major role in programming genetic susceptibility to coronary artery disease possibly through effect on adaptive immunity and response to inflammation.

In the wider context, the paper emphasises that the Y chromosome is an essential determinant of men's health and their predisposition to disease. It also raises the possibility coronary artery disease could be passed genetically from father to son.

The paper has raised considerable interest amongst both clinicians and scientists, and editorials followed its publication in the Lancet, the British Medical Journal and Nature Reviews Cardiology.

Coronary artery disease is the name given to the narrowing of blood vessels delivering blood to the heart, meaning that not enough oxygen can reach it. This can lead to angina symptoms, such as constriction of the chest, and heart attacks.

Dr Tomaszewski said, "I am delighted to have been recognised by the European Atherosclerosis Society. This competitive award symbolises the commitment of the Society to support scientists and clinicians driven to battle atherosclerosis and its complications.

“I am very grateful to European Atherosclerosis Society for this recognition and British Heart Foundation - for funding the research that led to this award.

“I would like also to thank all members of my team, friends and collaborators whose outstanding support was instrumental in successful completion of the study.”

Dr Tomaszewski will be presented with his award at the annual meeting of the European Atherosclerosis Society  in Lyon, France, 2-5 June 2013 where he will also give a lecture on the Y chromosome and coronary artery disease.

Ends

Notes to editors:

For more information contact Dr Maciej Tomaszewski on 0116 256 3021 (Secretary).

Charchar FJ, Bloomer LD, Barnes TA, Cowley MJ, Nelson CP, Wang Y, Denniff M, Debiec R, Christofidou P, Nankervis S, Dominiczak AF, Bani-Mustafa A, Balmforth AJ, Hall AS, Erdmann J, Cambien F, Deloukas P, Hengstenberg C, Packard C, Schunkert H, Ouwehand WH, Ford I, Goodall AH, Jobling MA, Samani NJ, Tomaszewski M.

Inheritance of coronary artery disease in men: an analysis of the role of the Y chromosome

Lancet. 2012 Mar 10;379(9819):915-22. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(11)61453-0. Epub 2012 Feb 9.

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