In recognition of his latest research uncovering the underlying pathology of brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), Eunsu Park, PhD, with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth Houston), has been honored with the Stroke Basic Science Award at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2022.
Park, an instructor in the Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery with McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, is among 12 scientists globally to receive an award at this year’s conference in New Orleans.
The Stroke Basic Science Award recognizes outstanding basic or translational science that is laboratory-based. Park earned the award for his scientific abstract titled “Inhibition of VEGF Signaling Prevents KRAS G12V-induced Brain Arteriovenous Malformations,” which is being presented at the conference today.
Brain AVMs are a tangle of vessels in the brain that carry a high risk for hemorrhagic stroke and neurological deficits in children and young adults. Mutations of KRAS – a subfamily of proteins that regulate cell functions – are closely linked with sporadic brain AVMs, which account for 95% of all cases. The excessive, uncontrolled formation of new blood vessels is also a key process in brain AVM formation.
In his abstract, Park identified an abnormal protein related to these malformations in mice. Ultimately, Park believes this research can illuminate what is happening in human brain AVMs and give insights to find therapeutic methods for these patients.
Park received his PhD in neuroscience at Kyung Hee University in South Korea in 2013, with his graduate work mainly focused on developing therapeutic strategies for Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. He underwent further postdoctoral training at Rutgers University in New Jersey and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City before joining UTHealth Houston in 2018.
The awarded study was done in collaboration with Park’s colleagues in the neurosurgery department: Eunhee Kim, PhD, assistant professor; Sehee Kim, PhD, postdoctoral research fellow; and Peng Roc Chen, MD, professor and vice chair of cerebrovascular research, and a neurosurgeon with UTHealth Houston Neurosciences and Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center.
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