Stritch Magazine 2020 Research
Cardiac metabolism and heart failure
As of 2018, more than 30 million people in the United States were diagnosed with heart disease, which includes conditions ranging from coronary artery disease and arrhythmias to congenital heart defects. By 2030, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate heart disease will cost the United States $818 million annually in direct medical costs, including productivity costs that could exceed $275 billion.
Given these projections, research continues to find ways to reduce the number of Americans diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. Last year, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute awarded Stritch Assistant Professor Gregory Aubert $159,000 for his research into cardiac metabolism as a potential course of treatment for heart failure.
Aubert studies a protein found in the cardiac muscles called sulfonylurea receptor 2 (SUR2). In the heart’s muscle, SUR2 helps regulate potassium levels based on cellular energy, which is essential for normal heart function. Aubert’s research examines how SUR2 impacts metabolic shifts during heart failure and how it may provide a new target of therapy for patients.