Research Funding

John Janitz 2023

Role of Cardiovascular and Inflammatory Biomarkers in the Management of Patients on Immune Checkpoint Inhibition Therapy 

Our primary aim is to assess the impact of ICI treatment on high sensitivity troponin levels in patients who did not have ICI-related myocarditis.  We also are looking to assess the impact of ICI treatment on other cardiac and inflammatory pathways as measured by blood-based biomarkers.

Rogel Cancer Center- Rogel Cancer Center Discovery Award 11/01/2021 – 01/31/2024 

Cardiovascular Complications of Patients Undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT): Creating Evidence-based Strategies for the Pre-Transplant Cardiovascular Evaluation. 

Our objective is to identify a set of criteria that define HSCT candidates at high risk of post-transplantation CVD events. Then generate preliminary evidence of whther referral to a cardiovascular specialist prior to HSCT is associated with improved outcomes. 

Frankel Cardiovascular Center Inaugural Grant Award 01/06/2023 - 01/01/2024

Cardio-Oncology Prehabilitation Program to Improve Cardiac Reserve in High-Risk Patients Undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation 

This award was evaluated by the Frankel CVC Directors based on potential to transform academic medicine. We received this award study the feasibility of a cardio-oncology prehabilitation program to improve cardiac reserve in high-risk patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. 

MICHR Kickstart Award- MTRAC for Life Sciences Innovation Hub 07/01/2022 - 06/30/2023

Designing anti-suPAR Therapeutics: A Novel Approach for Targeting Inflammation for the Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease. 

Through studies funded by the NIH, we have produced compelling epidemiologic, genetic and experimental evidence identifying soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) a promising pathogenic factor and therapeutic target for atherosclerosis. We are conducting phase 1 trials targeting suPAR through selective apheresis as a strategy to reduce risk of cardiovascualr disease. 

National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute R01 07/01/2020 - 06/30/2025

National Institutes of Health 

Role of suPAR in the Intersection between Cardiovascular and Kidney Disease 

To investigate suPAR as a pathogenic factor for cardiovascular disease and probe current and potential treatments and preventative interventions. 

Roche Diagnostics Investigator Initiated Study 03/01/2024-02/28/2025

Role of Cardiovascular Biomarkers in the Prognostication and Identification of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Myocarditis

Proposal aims to assess the clinical utility of cardiac and inflammatory blood-based biomarker measurements in the management of patients receiving ICI treatment.

Rogel Cancer Center Discovery Award & R01 Accelerator 11/01/2021-01/31/2024

Cardiovascular Complications of Patients Undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT): Creating Evidence-based Strategies for the Pre-Transplant Cardiovascular Evaluation

Defining incidence and predictors of CVD outcomes in patients undergoing HSCT to devise evidence-based strategies and criteria for pre-transplant risk stratification, optimization of CV health prior to therapy, and safe HSCT process and survivorship. 

Completed Funding

Ortho Clinical Diagnostics                                                                                                                                                     10/28/2021 - 10/27/2022

Effective Triage of Patients Presenting with COVID-19

Project aims to distinguish risks events associated with specific inflammatory biomarkers in patients hospitalized for COVID-19.

Gilead Research Scholar - Cardiovascular Comorbidities                                                                                      10/01/2020-09/30/2022

Gilead Sciences Research Scholars Program

Deciphering the "suPAR" Pathway of Atherosclerosis: The Link Between the Heart, Kidneys, and Immune System

This project aims to decipher a pathogenic role for suPAR in atherosclerosis utilizing an adeno-associated viral vector murine model of disease, and to lay the groundwork for developing greatly needed therapies to reduce the progression of atherosclerosis in the setting of kidney disease.

National Institutes of Health 07/28/2021-07/27/2022

MICHR Catalyst

Use of Soluble Urokinase Plasminogen Activator Receptor to Define High-risk HFpEF and Guide Spironolactone Therapy

Findings of this study will determine whether suPAR levels could be used to identify patients who would benefit from spironolactone, and whether suPAR should be incorporated into the eligibility criteria of trials assessing the benefits of HFpEF therapies. 

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases                                                                 03/31/2020-03/30/2022

National Institutes of Health

The KIDCOV Study: Assessment of Kidney Injury and Associated Risk Factors for SARS-CoV-2

This project aims to identify COVID-19 outpatients eligible to participate in prospective KIDCOV study, assess long-term urine kidney injury among patients, and coordinate analysis of KIDCOV EMR data between USCF Data Coordinating Center and the AMC.

Frankel Cardiovascular Center COVID-19 Ignitor Grant                                                       04/01/2020-12/31/2021

Frankel Cardiovascular Center

Effective Triaging of Patients with Suspected Covid-19 Using suPAR  

To determine whether suPAR can be used to triage patients presenting with suspected Covid-19 respiratory symptoms; differentiating those who are more likely to have progressive disease and require a higher level of care. 

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases                                             10/01/2020-12/31/2021

National Institutes of Health

DFU Clinical Research Unit COVID19 Supplemental Grant

Project goals are to ascertain in-hospital outcomes and inflammatory signatures within the entire M2C2, to deep phenotype M2C2 participants post-hospitalization to chronic vascular complications (DKD, DN and CVD), and inflammatory signatures, and  to assess the post-hospitalization psychosocial outcomes of  M2C2 participants. 

Frankel Cardiovascular Center Research Amplifier Grant              01/01/2020-12/31/2020

Frankel Cardiovascular Center

Deciphering the “suPAR” Pathway of Atherosclerosis 

To determine whether suPAR plays a causal role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis using histological and immunofluorescence techniques in tissue from suPAR overexpressing mice with genetically induced  atherosclerosis

MI-Kickstart Grant                                                                                                    09/27/2019-09/26/2020

MTRAC for Life Sciences Innovation Hub

Using a ‘suPAR’ Biomarker to Guide the Management of Multi-vessel Coronary Artery Disease

To derive an appropriate cut-off level for the circulating biomarker suPAR and associated clinical algorithm in patients with high-risk coronary disease to identify patients with multi-vessel coronary artery disease who would preferentially benefit from percutaneous coronary intervention rather than undergo coronary artery bypass surgery. State of Michigan Economic Development Program.

MICHR Grant                                                                                                         08/01/2019-07/31/2020

Michigan Insitute for Clinical and Health Research 

Characterizing a 'suPAR' Biomarker of Risk: Soluble Urokinase Plasminogen Activator Receptor and Subclinical Markers Of Atherosclerosis

To examine the correlation of suPAR levels with subclinical markers and progression of atherosclerosis, independently of declining kidney function, and improve the risk discrimination beyond conventional cardiovascular biomarkers and risk factors in a sample of the general population in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA.)  5 UL1 TR002240-03


MDDFAD Grant                                                                                                  07/01/2019-06/30/2020   

NIH/Michigan Center for Contextual Factors in Alzheimer’s Disease

Using a “SuPAR” Biomarker to Evaluate the Burden of Inflammation and its Impact on the Ethnoracial Differences in Cognitive Decline

Characterizing levels of soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) – a novel marker of chronic immune activation – in patients with AD, determine whether levels can predict declining cognitive function, and assess whether differences in the burden of inflammation accounts for ethnoracial differences in cognitive decline. 5 P30 AG059300-02


McKay Grant                                                                                                      02/01/2019-01/31/2020                           

UM Frankel Cardiovascular Center                            

Genetic Determinants and Heritability of Soluble Urokinase Plasminogen Activator Receptor

The overarching objective of this proposal is to improve our understanding of the genetic and environmental factors that regulate suPAR. Precise estimation of the heritability of suPAR will clarify how much of the population variation is due to genetic factors.