Preeclampsia research lands UI in AHA network

Ongoing research toward a cure for preeclampsia has earned the University of Iowa a spot in a four-center Strategically Focused Network on Hypertension created by the American Heart Association (AHA).

Curt Sigmund

The UI Strategically Focused Hypertension Research Center is funded with a four-year, $3.7 million AHA grant. Researchers will use the funding to develop a reliable, early predictor of preeclampsia, which causes high blood pressure in expectant mothers and often results in early delivery. UI researchers discovered a biomarker that may help predict whether a pregnant woman will develop preeclampsia as early as six weeks into the pregnancy.

“We will be collaborating with the other three centers in this network, so it is very likely that this will drive us to continue our focus not only on preeclampsia but on other areas of hypertension,” says Curt Sigmund, PhD, chair and department executive officer of pharmacology, founding director of the UI Health Care Center for Hypertension Research, and director of the AHA Network Center at UI.

The other AHA centers are the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and Medical College of Wisconsin.