Campus: CSU, Bakersfield -- June 9, 2000

Research Grant Awarded to CSU Bakersfield Professor

The American Heart Association has given a $60,000 research grant to a California State University, Bakersfield professor in an effort to provide insight into cardiac muscle changes that lead to heart failure.

The grant to Todd A. McBride is part of $12 million in research grants nationwide, said American Heart Association spokesman Bill Wigley.

Wigley, who is from Bakersfield, said the major problem being addressed by McBride's study is "aimed at determining some of the cellular mechanisms by which a mechanical stretch or load results in changes to skeletal and cardiac muscles.

"A better understanding of the mechanisms by which this occurs will provide a starting point for blocking the progression of enlarged hearts and subsequent heart failure," he said. "This is a prestigious award."

McBride said he's looking forward to the research. "I'm looking at cellular mechanisms and how muscle adapts to an increased load," he said. "In the cardiac muscle, an increased load can be caused by high blood pressure, which results in an increase of the cardiac muscle size that eventually leads to damage to the cardiac tissue. I'm looking at some of the early signals at how cells adapt to that increased load. If you can solve the pathway you can possibly block the response and prevent the overcompensation of the heart muscles."

The grant covers a period of two years. Most of the project will be conducted at CSUB, with some collaborative experiments at the University of California, Davis.

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