The Washington University School of Medicine community is celebrating the successes of two exemplary physicians in our Department of Surgery, Adetunji Toriola, MD, PhD and Mohamed Zayed, MD, PhD. Both physicians are also involved in research projects that have now received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The Research Project Grant (R01) is the original grant of the NIH. This funding program supports health-related research and technological development in the medical field. Funds can be allocated towards most aspects of research costs, such as salary, equipment and supplies, facilities, publications, contract and consortium costs, and travel.
Toriola’s research and lab focuses on the molecular and breast density basis of breast cancer to identify groups for preventative medicine. He is the Principal Investigator on two R01s in this type of research. One project is a phase II clinical trial investigating the effect of RANKL inhibition on mammographic breast density, breast tissue and blood markers in premenopausal women. The second study uses advanced metabolomics platforms to examine the metabolite profiles of breast density in premenopausal women.
Toriola also performs molecular epidemiologic studies on colorectal and pancreatic cancers. He explores biomarkers to understand relationships with energetics and inflammation with health and mortality. He is MPI on the ColoCare Study, a multicenter cohort of colorectal cancer patients, which conducts interdisciplinary research on colorectal cancer prognosis and outcomes.
Zayed has conducted extensive research in vascular pharmacology and led the development of novel medical devices in multiple NIH-funded investigations. Zayed has created several medical devices to improve various arterial and venous problems. These implements include a graft device to help diabetic patients naturally produce insulin and a mechanism for removing large abdominal and lung blood clots. These devices are being further optimized in the Zayed lab.
Zayed is the Director of the Vascular Surgery BioBank, which collects arterial and venous specimens from consented patients to be used in scientific investigations. The Zayed laboratory discovered enzymes in the arterial wall and blood stream that influence plaque formation in the peripheral arterial system. The lab has also recently studied the relationship between diabetes and peripheral arterial disease. Another recent development is a $3.5 million multi-PI NIH grant to study inflammatory markers in the atherosclerotic plaque of patients with peripheral arterial disease.
Washington University is a community of dedicated physicians and brilliant researchers, and The Department of Surgery congratulates Toriola and Zayed on their continued success as leading surgeon-scientists.