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The University Of Seville’s Participation In Pulmonary Hypertension Project


A group of researchers led by Dr. José López Barneo, of the University of Seville and Virgen del Rocío hospital, are taking part in European project PULMOTENSION. The aim of this research project is to fight pulmonary hypertension (PH), a serious illness. PH describes a group of chronic vascular diseases that cause lengthy disability with a fatal ending. It also causes heart failure due to high blood pressure in the lung’s blood vessels, brings shortage of breath, and decreases physical capacity in young and middle-aged patients.

Prof. Antonio Castellano, of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics of the University of Seville, explained to Andalucía Investiga the goal of the research group: ‘We focus on the effects of hypoxia (lack of oxygen) on pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells. When these cells contract, hypertension occurs and blood flow decreases’.

This multidisciplinary collaboration comprises 31 prestigious institutions of the European Union (EU). Two of the groups are from Spain – the one from Seville and another one from the Hospital Clinic i Provincial of Barcelona, coordinated by Dr. Joan Albert Barberá. Associated companies from 12 countries will also work with these organizations.

The EU is funding the PULMOTENSION project with an amount of 11.4 million Euros over a period of four years. Recently, the leaders of this project have held a meeting to set up the consortium. Researchers have elected a management committee and have also set the research strategies, clinical trials and a European registry for a PH tissue bank.

Antonio Castellano pointed out to Andalucía Investiga the techniques used by the team led by Dr. López Barneo- firstly, molecular biology; secondly, ‘electrophysiological techniques, specifically the registration of ionic currents’, at a cellular level- he said. The third group of techniques includes ‘microfluidic techniques, which are used to measure the intracellular calcium concentration’.

The groups associated to PULMOTENSION have made relevant scientific contributions, which range from the initial discovery of mutations causative of PH to the implementation of new therapies for this disease.

Ismael Gaona | alfa
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