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NIH Awards Herff College $1.6 Million for Cardiac Protein Research
For release: Aug. 15, 2005
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The University of Memphis' Herff College of Engineering has received a $1.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for electrochemical immunoassays for cardiac proteins. Dr. Erno Lindner, professor of biomedical engineering, will collaborate with partners from the U of M's Chemistry Department, as well as the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and North Carolina State University.

The goal of the four-year study is to develop a novel, inexpensive device for fast, sensitive, and reliable measurement of a combination of cardiac proteins for assessment and diagnosis of patients with acute coronary syndromes.

"We proposed the development of a simple system for the determination of the biochemical markers of cardiac injury," said Lindner," because the triage of patients presenting with chest pain at emergency departments is one of the most difficult challenges an ED physician faces today. Many patients with acute coronary syndromes have atypical presentations that are not diagnosed in the ED with the traditional diagnostic evaluation. If they are not admitted to the hospital for further evaluation, the diagnosis may be missed, and acute myocardial infarction patients who are inadvertently released home often have poor outcomes."

In 1996, the American College of Cardiology estimated that instituting more precise protocols for triaging patients would save several thousand lives per year and could reduce annual U.S. healthcare costs by as much as $6 billion.

"This award provides our students opportunities to work on problems of utmost importance using state-of-the-art instrumentation," Lindner said.

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