Abstract by Stephen Harris

Personal Infomation

Presenter's Name

Stephen Harris

Degree Level


Abstract Infomation


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Faculty Advisor

Richard Watt


Inhibition of Furin in Fibrosis


Organ fibrosis is caused by inflammation and stress to the organ. Fibrosis is a complicated combination of cells that synthesize fibers like collagen and enzymes that cut and reform collagen like the matrix metalloproteases (MMPs). MMPs are regulated by inhibitors called TIMPs. Inflammatory conditions can disrupt this delicate balance. The inflammatory cytokine Transforming Growth Factor β (TGF-β), directly upregulate fibrosis by activating matrix metalloproteases (MMPs). When TGF- β and MMPs are too high, fibrosis occurs.  The Watt lab has identified Furin inhibitors that block the activation of TGF- β and MMPs.  This is a potential treatment for fibrosis.  The Van Ry lab has a lung fibrosis model and in collaboration, we demonstrate that Furin inhibitors decrease markers of fibrosis.  I will report the methods, treatments and potential for using Furin inhibitors to treat fibrosis.