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Project leader: Mr Hann Low

Atherosclerosis is a complex disease involving impairment of many metabolic processes. Targeting each individual element of pathogenesis of atherosclerosis helps, but combined targeting of several elements may be more effective considerably reducing risk of cardiovascular disease. We collaborate with researchers in the University of California in San Diego who have recently identified a protein that 'normalises' specialised organelles on cell membrane, which are impaired in several metabolic processes in a number of cell types contributing to pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. This involves enhancing removal of excessive cholesterol from cells, but the exact mechanism of how this happens is unclear.

Our studies are aimed at understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanism of these effects and their implications for physiology of different cells involved in pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and other metabolic diseases. We will also test the utility of this protein to treat atherosclerosis and other metabolic diseases.

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With the rising number of Australians affected by diabetes, heart disease and stroke, the need for research is more critical than ever.

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