PHA/AHA Post Doctoral Fellowship Award Winner 2005
Cristhiaan Ochoa, MD
Massachusetts General Hospital, MA
Sponsor: Charles Hales, MD
"Thrombospondin-1 in Hypoxic Pulmonary Vascular Remodeling"
Term: July 1, 2005 - June 30, 2007
Summary of Research Project:
Thrombospondin-1 in Hypoxic Pulmonary Vascular Remodeling
With PHA’s grant money Dr. Ochoa is exploring the properties of a protein called thrombospondin-1. Previous researchers had hypothesized that thrombospondin-1 acted as a protective agent in the lungs, and Dr. Ochoa is determined to prove this hypothesis. Dr. Ochoa tests his theories in mice by inducing hypoxia (decreased levels of oxygen in the blood). His project involves comparing mice without the thrombospondin-1 gene to normal mice after inducing hypoxia in both groups.
Dr. Ochoa attended medical school in his native country at Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Medellin, Colombia. It was in medical school as a TA for a pulmonary physiology class that he first became interested in pulmonary hypertension. When it came time to decide what to do for research in his last year in school, he decided to work with Dr. Charles Hales and Dr. Deborah Quinn at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in their pulmonary and critical care lab. “I got hooked,” he says of his first hands-on experience with pulmonary hypertension research.