A faculty member of the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, or HCOM, helped release a study in August that has been granted $2.2 million by the National Institute of Health. 

The research paper is named “Identifying a novel regulatory pathway of vascular function in obesity.” The NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and is the nation’s medical research agency that provides funding for medical research across the U.S. 

“Our college has made a commitment to enhance our standing as a center for basic and translational research, and grants like this one tell us our efforts on that front are on target,” Kenneth Johnson, executive dean of HCOM, said in an email. 

Noyan Gokce, a professor at the Boston University School of Medicine, and Vishwajeet Puri, a professor in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Department of Biomedical Sciences and Diabetes Institute at OU, are leading the project.  

“Dr. Puri was one of a group of targeted hires, made with the express purpose of strengthening our research expertise in diabetes and related areas,” Johnson said in an email.

Puri’s and Gokce’s expertise explore a chemical pathway by which changes in fat metabolism, brought on by human obesity, can lead to cardiovascular disease. Further, the project could lead to the development of new drugs to combat circulatory system diseases. 

“What I most look forward to about his work is that it could ultimately improve the health of millions of Americans who suffer from cardiovascular diseases,” Johnson said in an email.