University of Vermont

Anathy Receives Competitive American Thoracic Society Grant

Research Associate of Pathology Vikas Anathy, Ph.D. (Photo by Raj Chawla, UVM Medical Photography)
Vikas Anathy, Ph.D.

Vikas Anathy, Ph.D., research associate of pathology at the University of Vermont (UVM) College of Medicine, has received a competitive American Thoracic Society (ATS) Foundation Unrestricted Research Grant for his research project application, titled “Allergen-induced disulfide isomerase, ERp57 regulates epithelial cell death and airway fibrosis.”

The ATS unrestricted grant, which provides $80,000 in research funding over two years (October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2014), is awarded to a researcher whose program has a high likelihood of advancing the understanding of lung disease. Applications are encouraged from new faculty members who have a strong link with one or more senior investigators. According to the ATS, Anathy was the best ranked applicant in the unrestricted category. The unrestricted grant’s review process included 54 letters of intent, a review of 16 full applications, and finally, four acceptances for funding.

“Repeated lung exposure to allergens, toxins, particulates, and pathogens can initiate a vicious cycle of repair and remodeling of the lung that ultimately leads to stiffness and respiratory failure,” explains Anathy. “Our research team has discovered that repeated exposure to allergens results in endoplasmic reticulum stress response, and this response mediates the progression from allergen exposure to airway remodeling.”

For this project, Anathy and his collaborators Matthew Poynter, Ph.D., UVM associate professor of medicine, and Anne Dixon, M.D., UVM associate professor of medicine and director of pulmonary and critical care medicine, will use genetically modified mice to improve understanding of the disease mechanism and to identify pharmacological inhibitors that interrupt airway remodeling.

A 2010 recipient of an ATS Travel Award, Anathy received his Ph.D. in biological sciences from Madurai Kamaraj University in Madurai, India. He joined the UVM faculty in 2004.