Poole Hardy Awarded K99/R00 from National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

September 9, 2021

EITS alumna and former IIT training grant postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Lauren Poole Hardy, was recently awarded a K99/R00 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) for her project, “Novel mechanisms linking blood coagulation to liver fibrosis.” The K99/R00 program is designed to facilitate a timely transition from a mentored postdoctoral research position to a stable independent research position with independent NIH or other research support at an earlier stage than is currently the norm.

Poole Hardy’s research is focused on the role of the blood clotting cascade in acute and chronic livery injury. Chronic liver disease is a major contributor to morbidity and mortality worldwide, in part because there are no therapies to delay progression or promote resolution of hepatic fibrosis, the end stage pathology of chronic liver disease. Activation of the blood clotting cascade is associated with chronic liver disease progression, but the specific mechanisms linking clotting factors to deposition of scar tissue (i.e., collagen) in the injured liver are poorly understood. The primary goal of Poole Hardy’s K99/R00 research proposal is to uncover precisely how blood clotting factors interact with collagen-producing cells in the injured liver so that new therapies can be designed to delay the progression of liver fibrosis in patients.

Poole Hardy is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. James Luyendyk. “Receiving this award is absolutely a dream come true,” commented Poole Hardy. “Since my first undergraduate research experience, being an independent academic researcher has been my only career goal, and this award plays a significant role in facilitating this transition. I am so excited to spend the next five years uncovering new mechanisms driving chronic liver disease progression, as well as starting my own research program to train new scientists.”