Studying the interaction of blood, especially red cells and hemoglobin, with the recently discovered signaling molecule nitric oxide (NO) should provide new information about normal and abnormal physiology and potential pharmacology.
Our research program is currently focused on the interaction of NO and hemoglobin, with the goal of understanding how NO may be transported by blood and thus act at distal sites, opening up its use as a pharmacological agent. This work has the potential for developing therapies for a variety of ischemic diseases, as well as sickle cell anemia and related hemoglobinopathies in which blood flow is impaired. Other research projects currently underway involve studies of the pathophysiological role of cell-free hemoglobin, cell signaling in the NO pathway, and the effects of nitrite/NO on platelet function.
The control of blood flow in human beings, both normally and in disease states, requires further study.