Congratulations to Dr. Brittney Williamsfor her Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award. Her project entitled "Role of miRNA-TLR7 Signaling in Platelet Activation and Dysfunction in Sepsis" was approved for funding by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Dr. Williams stated she was very pleased with the new NIH support and that her work in the next 3-5 years will focus on delineating platelet signaling pathways involved in immune-mediated thrombotic complications in sepsis. Dr. Williams has strong interests in how the innate immune system interacts with coagulation in health and disease. This project will specifically focus on the impact of innate immune activation in platelet dysfunction during sepsis and the role of plasma extracellular vesicles in driving coagulation responses. Innate immune activation and coagulation have long been linked during systemic inflammatory conditions such as sepsis, trauma, and extracorporeal circulation. As a cardiac anesthesiologist, Dr. Williams is particularly interested in translating the findings from this project to future applications in other inflammatory conditions with thrombotic complications, such as with cardiopulmonary bypass and other extracorporeal support systems. Moreover, this project will serve as a bridge for a future NIH R-award application and further exploration into molecular mechanisms underlying immunothrombosis, the discovery of associated biomarkers, and the development of more targeted management strategies in patients experiencing inflammatory and thrombotic complications.
The Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award, commonly known as NIH K08 award, is specifically designed for clinicians who are interested in a research career. The award lasts 5 years and provides $810,000+ of total support. This is the first K08 award in the Department of Anesthesiology and another prize for Dr. Williams after her FAER research award in the fall of 2019.