U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Awards $1 Million to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center

October 7, 2004

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Acting Assistant Secretary for Health and Science, Cristina Beato, M.D. will visit Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center on Friday, Oct. 8 to address the high rate of hypertension and stroke in the Piedmont.

Beato will meet with Wake Forest Baptist administrators and faculty at 1:30 p.m. in the Hawthorne Hill Society Room on the 10th Floor of the Richard Janeway Clinical Sciences Tower. Reporters are encouraged to attend.

Following her remarks, Beato will present the Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center at Wake Forest Baptist with a check for $1 million to continue research into the causes of hypertension.

“This research is crucial because it will help us understand what causes high blood pressure and how we can treat it most effectively,” said Beato. “We hope to move beyond treating the symptoms and find a cure.”

The Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has received a $10 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health to continue investigating the causes and cures of high blood pressure. Beato will present the first payment.

The grant, a five-year renewal of an existing award, will provide major funding for the center’s basic science component. It will support five projects investigating the mechanisms of blood pressure regulation and the role of a newly discovered protein called ACE2 that maintains the balance between hormones that raise blood pressure and those that lower blood pressure.

“The overall program reflects a new and important step in the pursuit of mechanisms by which the components of one of the body’s major blood pressure regulating systems contribute to hypertension, heart disease, stroke and renal failure,” said Carlos M. Ferrario, M.D., lead researcher and director of the Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center.

An internationally recognized center for the investigation of vascular disease and hypertension, the Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center provides comprehensive care for hypertension and vascular disease, a mobile blood pressure clinic, early screening and management of peripheral artery disease.


Media Contacts: Jim Steele, jsteele@wfubmc.edu, Shannon Koontz, shkoontz@wfubmc.edu, or Karen Richardson, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu, at 336-716-4587.

About Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center: Wake Forest Baptist is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. The system comprises 1,282 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.

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