USD med school receives over $1 M in research grants

USD med school receives over $1 M in research grants Dr. Doug Martin of the Basic Biomedical Sciences Division at The University of South Dakota Medical School has received two major research grants.

The first grant of $843,000 was awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support research for the study on "Estrogen Reduces Venous Tone in Early Hypertension." The grant money will be distributed over four years.

The American Heart Association awarded a $300,000 grant to be distributed over four years for the "Role of Veins in

Antihypertensive Effect of Isoflavones."

Both grants are somewhat related. The NIH grant money will be used to study the controversial topic of estrogen and its effects on cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease seems to be different in men and women. There appears to be a protective effect of estrogen in women. The incidence of hypertension is lower in women up to the time or menopause. This estrogen effect is something researchers have been trying to figure out for years. Studies will also be conducted to see how estrogen affects the veins. Early studies suggest that the cause of blood pressure rising involves the venous system. Martin hopes to look at how estrogen affects that system.

The second grant will look at soybeans and the components in soybeans. Soybeans contain phytoestrogens, which behave similar to estrogen.

The soybean study will look at the estrogen-like effects that come from consuming soybeans or from administration of compounds found in soybeans. Previous studies have shown that dietary soy is effective against coronary heart disease and high blood pressure.

Dr. John L. Williams and Dr. Kathleen Eyster from the USD Medical School will assist Martin in his research.

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