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Student research project

Supervisor(s): Dr Alexander Pinto and Dr Malathi Imiyage Dona

Project summary

Inflammation is a renowned feature of heart failure. While activation of the immune system in the development of heart failure has been studied for decades, clinical trials of strategies targeting immune cell activation to treat heart failure have shown limited success.

Recent advancements of the high-throughput transcriptomic profiling have enabled detailed characterisation of the cellular diversity of the mammalian heart. This includes deep insights towards important cardiac immune cell types such as neutrophils, macrophages, natural killer cells, T cells and B cells. Nevertheless, there is little known of how cardiac immune cell landscape changes during the development of hypertrophy and the role of specific immune cell type during the pathological remodeling of the heart that underlies hypertrophy and heart failure.

This project focuses on understanding the role of cardiac immune cell types in homeostasis and heart failure. In this project, we will utilise bioinformatics tools and pipelines to characterise the changes in cardiac immune cell landscape using available single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) data in a mouse model of hypertension-induced hypertrophy. A better understanding of the cardiac immune cell network will open new avenues to develop novel therapeutic targets for heart failure.

Related methods, skills or technologies

The project is suitable for an Honours or PhD student and will involve applying various skills and techniques, including:

  • animal models
  • bioinformatics
  • data analysis
  • flowcytometry
  • imaging
  • immunocytochemistry.

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