Landmark project headed by Indian American Sriram Krishnaswamy to study blood clots

Dr. Sriram Krishnaswamy
Dr. Sriram Krishnaswamy; photo credit: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Krishnaswamy is a researcher at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine U Penn.

A team led by an Indian American researcher has received an NIH grant for studying thrombosis – a life threatening condition of forming blood clots in veins and arteries.

Dr. Sriram Krishnaswamy, a researcher at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine of University of Pennsylvania, will be leading the team for the study.

The team will receive a five-year grant for the project “Hemstasis and Thrombosis: Chemistry, Biology and Physiology” from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), which is part of the NIH.

Krishnaswamy and his team will be looking at the mechanisms of clotting to understand how to modulate it in a better way and find new approaches for the treatment of human diseases.

Krishnaswamy, who grew up in India, moved to the England after completing his early education at Lawrence School, Lovedale, Tamil Nadu. Following his graduation from Denstone College Staffordshire, he came to the United States for graduate studies in biology and biochemistry at Syracuse University, in upstate New York. He then joined the University of Vermont for his post-doctoral fellowship.

“This is one of the most concerted group efforts, perhaps in the world but certainly in the United States, where there are so many investigators working together on mechanistic aspects of coagulation,”  Krishnaswamy said in a press release from NHLBI last month. “The problem with too much clotting is by far one of the most staggering medical issues in the Western world. It’s the largest cost — related to hospitalization and loss of life — of any disease out there.”

Krishnaswamy added, “Finding out the biological process that contributes to disease is critical to finding a treatment. And treating it is a multi-billion dollar market for drug makers.

He added that his team’s goal is to use innovative and multidisciplinary approaches “to try to understand the basic mechanisms by which blood clots.”

Though thrombosis is widely understood to be an old man’s disease, it is limited to that segment of the population.

“With a variety of childhood disorders requiring the use of catheters or central lines for infusion therapy, thrombosis is problematic among the younger population too,” Krishnaswamy said. “So, understanding thrombosis and ultimately finding a safe treatment for it, will have a major impact on healthcare.”

Talking about the current drug approaches, he said: “It’s a critical balancing act between clotting and bleeding. The newer drugs are supposedly less problematic, but they have not been developed in an imaginative way.”

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