Biomedical Scientist Discovers a New Method to Increase Survival in Sepsis

Nov 26, 2013

The findings have the potential to translate into millions of saved lives

Sepsis, the body’s response to severe infections, kills more people than breast cancer, prostate cancer and HIV/AIDS combined. On average, 30 percent of those diagnosed with sepsis die.

A new study conducted by Jamey Marth, director of UC Santa Barbara’s Center for Nanomedicine and professor of the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, reports a new method to increase survival in sepsis. The results appear today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Building on earlier work in which Marth’s team revealed the biological purpose of the Ashwell-Morell receptor (AMR) in the liver, the new discovery not only describes the AMR’s protective mechanism, but also outlines a way to leverage it for therapeutic use. Sepsis often triggers widespread blood coagulation and thrombosis, which can lead to organ failure and death.

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