Massachusetts General Hospital researcher Emmanual Buys, PhD, is part of a collaborative research team that has been working in Antarctica to study the Weddell seal, a mammal that can remain under water for longer than 70 minutes at a depth of 500 meters.
Buys and his team are taking tissue samples from seals to learn more about how adaptations to the mammals’ heart and blood vessel systems have enabled them to regulate the flow of blood throughout their bodies, making it possible to operate without oxygen for long periods of time.
Identifying the details of these strategies could help researchers develop novel therapies for cardiovascular trauma (e.g. stroke, heart attack) and diseases associated with blunted oxygen delivery to tissues (e.g. pneumonia, sepsis, or cancer).
The project is lead collaboratively by Dr. Buys, Allyson Hindle, PhD, and William Zapol, MD, all of whom are from Mass General, and Dan Costa, PhD, at the University of California Santa Cruz.
Research at Massachusetts General Hospital is interwoven throughout more than 30 departments, centers and units across the institution, and conducted with the support and guidance of the Mass General Research Institute.