Sir John Vane Grant for Best Recent Publication in Pulmonary Vascular Research 2015


Dr Rajkumar Savai is presented the Sir John Vane Grant for his paper in Nature Medicine "Pro-proliferative and inflammatory signalling converge on FoxO1 transcription factor in pulmonary hypertension" (Nat Med. 2014 Nov; 20(11):1289-300). Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is characterised by increased proliferation of pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs). Forkhead box O (FoxO) transcription factors are key regulators of cellular proliferation. In the lungs of a patient with PH, FoxO1 expression is downregulated. The team proposed that rebuilding FoxO1 expression could provide a novel therapeutic pathway for PH.


Current projects from his group will delineate the specific contribution of immune/inflammatory cells and their secretory factors to pathological vascular remodelling and right ventricular dysfunction in humans. The group is also exploring the role of FoxOs in driving the inflammatory phenotype of the disease. These studies will largely be undertaken on a molecular and cellular level, and specific emphasis is laid on the definition of novel therapeutic strategies that specifically target immune disturbances in this devastating condition.

ERS Research Director, Professor Maria Belvisi, said "Dr Savai's high calibre research is shifting focus in the field and we look forward to his future work. The work that he and his team have produced on Fox01 could lead to exciting new therapies for PH."

The ERS Research Award: Innovation in Non-Tuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) Science and Medicine, financially supported by Insmed, is a grant for €10,000 offered to a researcher pursuing an active research project in the NTM lung disease field.

This award is dedicated to the memory of Sir John Vane, who made Nobel Prize winning advances in the field of inflammation and pain with his work on aspirin and the discovery that it inhibited the biosynthesis of prostaglandin. Through the financial support of United Therapeutics Europe Ltd., ERS offers a grant of €2,500 for the best recent publication on pulmonary vascular research that furthers our scientific understanding of the pharmacology, biology, genetics or pathophysiology of pulmonary hypertension.

Dr Savai will be presented with the Sir John Vane Grant award during the members' meeting of the Clinical Physiology and Integrative Biology Assembly (Assembly 4) in Room 13.2 on Sunday 27 September, 2015 from 13:00.