Ezebuchi Nwafor is awarded a scholarship from the Health Research Board

19 Jun 2014
Pictured: Dr. Christian Waeber & Ezebuchi Nwafor

Third year pharmacy student Ezebuchi Nwafor received an HRB Summer Student Scholarships for a research project he will conduct with his mentor Dr. Christian Waeber.

Stroke is the 3rd leading cause of death in the world. However, the only available drug, which is used to dissolve the clot and restore blood flow to the affected area, is only used in ~4% of patients.  Effective therapies are therefore needed. Ezebuchi’s project will focus on preconditioning, which is a process whereby a stimulus below the threshold of damage is applied, leading to tissue resistance to the same, or different stimuli given beyond damage threshold. He is planning to use primary cells derived from brain to test in vitro whether different preconditioning stimuli generate sphingosine-1-phosphate, or S1P, and whether this S1P makes these cells more resistant to a lack of oxygen and nutrients by acting on specific membrane receptors. The goal of these studies, for which Dr. Waeber received a Marie Curie Career Integration Grant, is to establish the importance of a new pathway providing protection against ischemia. Knowledge of the molecular interactions involved in this pathway may provide novel therapeutic targets for stroke, as well as for other conditions such as neurodegenerative disorders and cancer. 

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