UMKC Researcher Works to Reduce Sepsis Infections
When a team of scientists in Portugal were looking for someone to fill in some key blanks in their recently published collaborative research on sepsis, they immediately set their sights on Ann Smith’s laboratory at UMKC. The research centered on the role of a specific protein in combating the types of bacterial infection that lead to sepsis, a condition characterized by a sudden drop in blood pressure and progressive organ failure. Sepsis is one of the most common causes of mortality in intensive care units worldwide and, even under the best possible medical conditions, mortality rates range between 30 and 70 percent.
The protein the researchers were looking at is hemopexin and it has been a focus of Smith’s research for the better part of the past 20 years. Smith is professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry at the UMKC School of Biological Sciences and is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on hemopexin. In a recent collaboration, hemopexin was shown to protect the brain from injury in stroke.
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