Sanford-Burnham News Archive

Sanford-Burnham Researchers Recognized by the NIH

ORLANDO, Fla. , June 29, 2010

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona is pleased to announce that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded research grants to two faculty members to advance scientific understanding of cardiovascular diseases and chronic inflammation. The grants are valued at $4.3 million dollars and were awarded to Dr. Daniel Kelly, professor and scientific director, Sanford-Burnham Institute at Lake Nona and Dr. Timothy Osborne, professor and director of the metabolic signaling and disease program at Lake Nona. The continued funding of current research allows scientists to pursue promising investigations and when indicated, supports the recruitment of additional lab staff.

Dr. Kelly’s five-year RO1 grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute provides $2.4 million dollars to investigate the metabolic basis of heart failure. This grant approval will initiate the 13th year of NIH support for the Kelly lab’s research in this area. To date, the results of this work have been published in 38 papers in prestigious scientific journals, including Genes and Development, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Circulation Research, and Molecular Cellular Biology. Despite significant advances in the treatment of cardiovascular disease over the past several decades, therapeutic approaches to prevent heart failure, a worldwide health threat, are limited. Evidence is emerging that alterations in cardiac cell energy metabolism contribute to the development of heart failure.

The NIH grant will allow scientists to determine if changes in fuel metabolism or alterations in mitochondria, the “power house” of the cell, leads to heart failure. In the long-term, Dr. Kelly seeks to identify novel drug targets aimed at modulating heart metabolism as a new approach to prevent or treat heart failure in its early stages.

Dr. Osborne’s four year RO1 grant is valued at $1.9 million and represents the latest installment of a project that has been continuously funded by the NIH since 1994. Dr. Osborne’s work has resulted in more than 70 research publications describing mechanisms that our bodies use to maintain an optimal balance between cellular cholesterol and fatty acids which goes haywire in cardiovascular and obesity related diseases. The current project seeks to study key interactions between fat metabolism and inflammation. The complex interactions between these two seemingly unrelated processes play a major role in the body’s ability to manage fat overload, which is a major complication of obesity, diabetes and many other chronic diseases.

About Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute is dedicated to discovering the fundamental molecular causes of disease and devising the innovative therapies of tomorrow. Sanford-Burnham takes a collaborative approach to medical research with major programs in cancer, neurodegeneration and stem cells, diabetes, and infectious, inflammatory, and childhood diseases. The Institute is recognized for its National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center and expertise in drug discovery technologies. Sanford-Burnham is a nonprofit, independent institute that employs more than 1,000 scientists and staff in San Diego (La Jolla), Calif., and Orlando (Lake Nona), Fla. For more information, visit us at

Sanford-Burnham can also be found on Facebook at and on Twitter @sanfordburnham.

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