K-State team funded by $1.3 million NIH grant to combat hypertension
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
MANHATTAN — The underlying cause in up to 12% of people with hypertension or high blood pressure can be traced to primary aldosteronism, or PA, a disorder characterized by the unregulated production of the hormone aldosterone due to benign tumors in the adrenal gland.
A team of researchers, led by Kansas State University associate professor Punit Prakash, has been funded with more than $1.3 million from the National Institutes of Health to expand preliminary studies that indicate mild heating of benign adrenal tumors can disrupt their unregulated aldosterone production. Through the U.S-Ireland Research and Development Partnership, project partners in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will receive additional funding from related agencies in their countries.
"We will develop, optimize and evaluate an approach for definitive treatment of PA, employing minimally invasive microwave devices delivered under image guidance to selectively heat benign adrenal tumors," said Prakash, who holds the Paul L. Spainhour Professorship in Electrical Engineering and is a Michelle Munson-Serban Simu Keystone research scholar in the Mike Wiegers Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
"Successful completion of this project," he said, "will lead to the development of a minimally invasive approach for definitive treatment of hypertensive patients with benign aldosterone-producing adenomas in one or both adrenal glands."
Co-investigators at K-State include faculty members Stefan Bossmann, university distinguished professor of chemistry; Warren Beard and David Biller, professors of clinical sciences; Charan Ganta, clinical associate professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology; and Matthew Basel, clinical assistant professor of anatomy and physiology. The Republic of Ireland project partners at National University of Ireland Galway are M. Conall Dennedy, site lead, and Martin O'Halloran. At Ulster University in Northern Ireland, project partners are Liam McDaid, site lead, and Jim Harkin and Bryan Gardiner.
The NIH project, with program sponsor the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will be funded over four years through the Bioengineering Research Grants program.
The project, titled "Treating primary aldosteronism-induced hypertension via microwave thermal therapy," is well-aligned with the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering's health research thrust as well as the internationalization theme of K-State 2025.