The European Research Council (ERC) has granted a 2 million Euro research grant to Dr Soni Savai Pullamsetti, lung researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research Bad Nauheim, and PVRI member.
Over the next five years, the ERC will provide Dr Pullamsetti with two million Euros for her research on pulmonary hypertension (PH). The grant is part of the prestigious “Consolidator Programme” which aims to "promote excellent scientists whose independent working group is in the consolidation phase".
Dr Pullamsetti’s main area of research is PH and the causes and therapies surrounding it. She plans to use the funds given by the ERC to look for ways in which the activated vascular wall cells can be influenced so that the progression of PH could be stopped or reversed. The hypothesis that during development of pulmonary hypertension molecular processes take place that were already active during embryonic development, is what she builds on. "In the context of pulmonary hypertension, a whole range of developmental genes are active”, says Dr Pullamsetti. “These form a network and influence each other. We want to use the EU funds to decode these gene networks. Our hope is that if we better understand the underlying molecular processes, we will find attachment to novel therapies. But we will also look for new biomarkers that could better diagnose the disease".
Dr Soni Savai Pullamsetti moved to Germany is 2002 and received a doctorate at Gießen. She heads a laboratory in the department of Lung Development and Remodelling at the Bad Nauheim Max Planck Institute, led by Professor Werner Seeger, PVRI President. This prestigious grant is by no means Dr Pullamsetti’s only achievement, she has had more than 80 publications in high-ranking journals and has already received several research awards from various scientific societies.