Andreas Schwingshackl, M.D, Ph.D.

Andreas Schwingshackl, M.D, Ph.D.

Institution: University of California, Los Angeles

Project: TREK-1 potassium channels protect from ventilator-induced lung injury

Grant(s): Innovation Award

All patients with respiratory failure are treated with oxygen therapy and mechanical ventilation, although both therapies promote further lung injury and may increase patient death rates. Doctors try to limit the degree of oxygen and mechanical ventilation exposure, but have not been able to eliminate the injurious consequences of these therapies. Currently, no targeted approaches exist to counteract such injury. In our lab, we discovered that oxygen therapy and mechanical ventilation decrease the levels of proteins called TREK-1 potassium channels in the lung, which accelerates further injury. In this study, we will study the mechanisms underlying TREK-1-mediated protection, and determine whether activation of residual TREK-1 channels with newly developed pharmacological compounds can counteract oxygen and mechanical ventilation-induced lung injury. We will also introduce two novel, next-generation devices to mimic these injurious events occurring in the lung.

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