The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio announced that Dr. Mark Gorelik, medical director of Pediatric Rheumatology and associate professor with Baylor College of Medicine, was selected to receive a 2016 Voelcker Fund Young Investigator Award.
Dr. Gorelik will focus on the Role of Follistatin Like 1 Protein in Coronary Artery Aneurysms of Kawasaki Disease. Dr. Gorelik, a board-certified pediatric rheumatologist, is among four recipients in San Antonio of the Voelcker Young Investigator Award which provides each grantee with $150,000 a year for three years for a total of $450,000. Dr. Gorelik’s research will be conducted at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute.
This competitive grant is the first Voelcker Fund research grant awarded to CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System and the first basic science grant awarded to The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. The goal of the Voelcker Fund Young Investigator Award is to foster the development and productivity of outstanding scientists conducting medical research to find cures for cancer, heart disease, arthritis, muscular dystrophy, retinitis, and/or macular degeneration of the retina.
“Dr. Gorelik’s research proposal is impressive”, stated Banks M. Smith, a Voelcker Fund Trustee. “We look forward to following his progress.”
Dr. Gorelik's mentor at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute will be Jean Patterson, Ph.D. She was instrumental in facilitating access to lab space, equipment and guidance in the project. The Texas Biomedical Research Institute is a world-class research institute and recipient of millions of dollars a year in National Institutes of Health funding and other research grants.
“This award is significant because a basic science grant is the first step toward gaining subsequent funding from other sources such as the National Institutes of Health,” said Dr. Mark Gilger, pediatrician-in-chief, The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. “Dr. Gorelik’s work in this important field of research is yet another major milestone in the development of San Antonio’s only freestanding children’s hospital.”
What is Kawasaki Disease?
Kawasaki disease is a rare childhood illness that affects the blood vessels and strikes more than 4,000 children each year. About 80 percent of those affected are under the age of five. Kawasaki disease can harm the coronary arteries, which carry blood to the heart and can cause aneurysms. Kawasaki is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children.