Astra Zeneca Impact Challenge Grant – Cardiovascular/Diabetes


In 2013 the Heart & Stroke/Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence in Cardiovascular Research (HSRLCE) and the Banting & Best Diabetes Center (BBDC) in conjunction with the Vice-Dean, Research and International Relations, Faculty of Medicine announced that they would be funding research initiatives focusing on Diabetes and Heart Disease. In 2014 we partnered with AstraZeneca to introduce the AstraZeneca Impact Challenge Grant. The annual $250,000 award is intended to address a significant health issue: the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in patients with diabetes.

2017 Recipient
Dr. David Cherney has been awarded the 2017 AstraZeneca Impact Challenge Grant for her research project: iNcretin And TReatment with Inhibition of sodiUm-glucose cotRansportEr-2 combinaTion In Congestive Heart Failure Preserved Ejection Fraction Trial (“NATRIURETIC-pEF”). Award amount: $249,863.

About the Researchers
Principal Applicant:
David Cherney, Associate Professor, Clinician Scientist – Nephrology, University Health Network
John Parker, Division of Cardiology, Mount Sinai Hospital/UHN
Susanna Mak, Division of Cardiology, Mount Sinai Hospital/UHN
Mansoor Husain, Division of Cardiology, UHN
Bruce Perkins, Division of Endocrinology, Mount Sinai Hospital/UHN
John Floras, Division of Cardiology, Mount Sinai Hospital/UHN
Jacob Udell, Division of Cardiology, UHN, Women’s College Hospital
Daniel Drucker, Mount Sinai Hospital, Division of Endocrinology

About the Project
Patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) are at risk for accumulating fluid in the heart and lungs – a condition called “heart failure”. Fortunately, a new class of medication that is used to control blood sugar levels in patients with T2D – called sodium glucose co-transport-2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) – was recently shown to reduce the risk of dying or developing heart failure and decrease the risk of progressive diabetes-related kidney damage. Other diabetes medications that are used to control blood sugar levels called “incretins” (e.g. “glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist” or GLP1RA) also cause sodium loss in the urine and reduce the risk of death and diabetic kidney damage. Both medications have a number of important kidney and heart effects, including reductions in blood pressure and weight. In addition, both medications cause salt and water loss in the urine. This may be beneficial in heart failure patients, who accumulate salt and fluid around their lungs and also to develop swelling of their legs. Despite these effects, it is not known why patients with heart failure benefit from SGLT2i or GLP1RA, nor is it known if the combination of SGLT2i with GLP1-RA leads to further improvements in the heart or kidney that are more powerful than either drug alone. Our aim is to measure changes in kidney and heart function, and levels of salt and water in the body to understand how combined SGLT2i-GLP1RA reduce heart failure risk in T2D.


Recipients: Dr. Rulan Parekh, Professor; Staff Nephrologist; Scientist, The Hospital for Sick Children
Project: Novel Biomarkers of Vascular Dysfunction in Diabetes and End-Stage Renal Disease

Recipients: Dr. Idan Roifman, Staff Cardiologist; Scientist Schulich Heart Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and Dr. Graham Wright, Research Director, Schulich Heart Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute
Project: The Impact of Diabetic Microvascular Dysfunction on Late Major Adverse Cardiac Events Post Non-ST Elevation Acute Coronary Syndrome

Recipient: Dr. Ravi Retnakaran, Endocrinologist and Clinician-Scientist; Associate Professor, Mount Sinai Hospital
Project: A Randomized Controlled Trial to Evaluate Exenatide and Insulin Glargine Combination Therapy for the Preservation of Pancreatic Beta-cell Function and Endothelial Function in Early Type 2 Diabetes

Recipient: Dr. Kim Connelly, Staff Cardiologist; Scientist, St. Michael’s Hospital
Project: CD34+ Cell Therapy for Diabetic Cardio-Renal Disease

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