ASU Gets $95-K Grant to Combat Cardiovascular Disease

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ASU's Dr. Komal Vig in her lab (photo credit: David Campbell/ASU).

ASU Awarded $95-K Grant to Combat Cardiovascular Disease with Heart Tissue Applications

By: Kenneth Mullinax/ASU 

Dr. Komal Vig, a professor of biology in ASU’s department of Biological Sciences, has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to research and offer effective, cost-efficient solutions for the treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD), utilizing tissue engineering. 

Vig received a $95,340 grant out of a total grant of $1.5 million that is shared with ASU, Stanford University and Auburn. Vig is a co-investigator on this project that is funded through 2025. 

"I am very appreciative to the National Science Foundation for the opportunity to work on this grant that has the ability to help so many people who suffer from cardiovascular disease. At ASU, this grant will allow many of our students to assist in working with heart tissue research to assist with therapies for people with damaged hearts," said Vig. 


She explained that one of the goals of this grant is to prepare undergraduates for a successful transition into STEM graduate programs and the STEM workforce. Students involved in the project will conduct research in collaboration with Auburn University and Stanford University in California. ASU's students will have opportunities to participate in various collaborative activities, as well as present their research in national and international meetings. Vig anticipates that the students’ research experience will lead to their successful pursuit of higher education and for placement in advanced scientific professions. 

"This grant will help train our students to become more scholarly in this new field of science and perhaps later be employed in advanced medical and research fields to help repair damaged hearts," Vig stated. "This research is gaining a lot of usage for developing artificial tissue and organs for medical and human use, which includes the production of human items (cardiomyocytes) that are essential for regenerative therapies and drug-testing applications." 


By the year 2030, data suggests that approximately 40.5 percent of the U.S. population is expected to be affected by some form of CVD. This trend highlights both the current and future needs for this type of research. 

"The current project will use biocompatible materials along with stem cells to regenerate cardiac cells," Vig stated. "This will not only help save lives, but will also challenge our students' ability to interact with other scholars and collaboratively make a difference in the scientific arena of knowledge that ultimately betters humankind." 

News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.