Ivan Jozic, PhD
Targeting Caveolin-1 for Treatment of Non-Healing Chronic Wounds
Chronic wounds represent a major healthcare burden, affecting more than 6 million people annually and hindering the health care system with ~$60 billion in costs. Every chronic wound is considered colonized by opportunistic pathogens, which deregulate the healing process. However, specific mechanisms that inhibit healing and facilitate wound infection are not well understood and are the main focus of this project. Inability of wounds to close properly brought about by deregulated cell migration, together with increased pathogen colonization, are two hallmarks of non-healing chronic wounds. Successful completion of this project will advance an understanding of the molecular pathophysiology of chronic wounds. The strength of this study is the identification of a candidate molecule, which can serve as a potential biomarker and theragnostic target for treatment of non-healing chronic wounds by targeting two hallmarks of non-healing chronic wounds: 1) the inability of cells to move properly to re-epithelialize the wounds, and 2) the establishment and persistence of pathogenic bacterial infection. Such findings will facilitate development of more specialized targeted therapies and help explain why most recombinant growth factor therapies failed in clinical trials.
I am very grateful to the PhRMA Foundation Research Starter Grant for playing a crucial step toward achieving my career goals, as it provided protected time, resources, mentorship, hands-on laboratory-based research experience and invaluable career development that will secure my successful future in obtaining and sustaining research funding. Receiving this grant will prove invaluable in permitting me to independently develop my own line of research and to subsequently acquire multidisciplinary team science-based grants as I embark on a long and productive academic career that will make the PhRMA Foundation proud.