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Student research project

Supervisors: Associate Professor David Greening, Max Lim and Bethany Claridge

Project summary

Cardiac remodeling is generally accepted as a determinant of the clinical course of heart failure (HF). Although patients with major remodeling demonstrate progressive worsening of cardiac function, slowing or reversing remodeling has only recently become a goal of HF therapy. A better understanding of cell signaling involved in cardiac remodeling may support the development of new therapeutic strategies towards the treatment of heart failure and reduction of cardiac complications. To achieve this goal, a preclinical human model that mimics the complex and progressive nature of acute myocardial infarction is essential for detailed characterisation of human heart disease.

We aim to focus on extracellular vesicles called exosomes — key players of intercellular communication and heart physiology. Exosomes are nano-sized lipid-encapsulated vesicles that contain RNA and proteins which can mediate intercellular signalling to directly alter the function of target cells. We aim to use a novel human heart tissue model for disease modelling of HF and novel target discovery of therapeutic interest. A focus on state-of-the-art high-resolution mass spectrometry, phosphorylation signalling, integrated informatics, and cell biology will understand fundamental cardiac developmental and pathophysiological mechanisms in human cardiac homeostasis and disease.

This project is suitable for a PhD student.

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