Release Date: December 23, 2002
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- While treatments for angina, heart attacks and heart failure have improved significantly in recent years, little is known about another killer -- sudden cardiac death (SCD) -- and, as a result, it remains largely untreated.
University at Buffalo Professor John M. Canty, Jr., M.D. '79, hopes to change that, and has found support for his efforts in the form of a significant pledge from the Mae Stone Goode Trust.
The trust has pledged $141,750 over three years to support Canty's groundbreaking research in sudden-cardiac-death syndrome. Internationally known for his cardiovascular research, Canty is the Albert and Elizabeth Rekate Chair in Cardiovascular Disease in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
He said his research could help in predicting the occurrence of SCD, as well as lead to the development of targeted gene and drug therapies for its treatment. He noted that the difficulty in studying the syndrome is that SCD often occurs as the first and last episode of coronary distress in its victims.
"The most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that sudden death accounts for more than 60 percent of cardiovascular deaths, and more than half of those cases had no prior symptoms of coronary artery disease," Canty said.
He has overcome the first challenge in his work by developing a large-animal model of chronic coronary disease that recreates the symptoms exhibited by victims who succumb to SCD, including spontaneous rapid heartbeat and uncoordinated heart-muscle contractions in the absence of heart attack.
Michael E. Bernardino, vice president for health affairs and dean of the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, said he is confident that Canty's work "will significantly advance our understanding of the growing problem of sudden cardiac death and contribute to future efforts to identify and treat patients who are at risk for developing this condition and related
Mae Stone Goode "left the funds for cure rather than care" and established the trust for medical research on tuberculosis, cancer and "other diseases of humanity," according to attorney William Yorks, co-trustee and second cousin to Mrs. Goode.
She was a person who made many gifts anonymously during her lifetime, Yorks said, and the public should now know "about the generosity of this woman of strong character." Gifts from the trust are made in the names of Mae Stone Goode, who died in 1955, and her husband, Richard W. Goode, a real estate investor in Buffalo who died in 1928.
The gift from the Mae Stone Goode Trust is part of UB's $250 million campaign. Funds raised will be used to enrich academic programs, support students and enhance university life.