Finding reduces swine fetal loss, nets researcher prestigious award
A new drug that stimulates the growth of new blood vessels in the uterus lining of pigs could be on the market in a couple of years. The drug will significantly impact the commercial swine industry by addressing spontaneous fetal loss and increasing litter size.
Queen’s Chandra Tayade has received a prestigious award from the American Society for Reproductive Immunology (ASRI) for his research.
“I was surprised and overwhelmed because the J. Christian Herr Award is usually given to investigators who have held faculty positions for 10 to 15 years, not a relatively new kid on the block,” says Dr. Tayade, who joined the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences as an assistant professor two years ago.
Dr. Tayade is researching endometriosis, a condition where tissue that behaves like the cells lining the uterus grows in other areas of the body and causes pain, irregular bleeding and infertility in some cases.
Lesions associated with endometriosis, similar to cancerous tumors, need a blood supply to grow. Dr. Tayade is testing a compound to attack the blood vascular density of the lesions in hopes of denying them nutrients and causing them to shrink and die. He says the preliminary results are promising.
Dr. Tayade has examined the immunological issues associated with spontaneous fetal loss in pigs, which can reduce potential litter sizes of commercial swine by up to 40 per cent. His pioneering study found that lymphocytes, white blood cells in the immune system, are directly responsible for promoting the growth of new blood vessels in the lining of the uterus, which positively impacts fetal development.
“I believe ASRI considered my research an important piece of work that marked a shift in our understanding of these immune cells and how they function. Other researchers have built new ideas based on those findings,” he says.
The J. Christian Herr Award is given annually to a researcher with outstanding achievements in basic or applied research in reproductive immunology, particularly for investigators involved in technology transfer. Dr. Tayade has been invited to give the award lecture at next year’s ASRI conference that will be held in Hamburg, Germany.
Dr. Tayade’s lab at Queen’s received funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation last year.