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Student research project

Supervisor(s): Professor Geoff Head and Dr Kristy Jackson

Research focus

Hypertension affects approximately 1 in 3 people worldwide and is a major contributor to life-threatening cardiovascular disease. Importantly, as many of 12–30% of case of hypertension is estimated to be uncontrolled by current pharmacological therapeutic approaches. A major focus of the Neurophamacology laboratory is assessing the effectiveness of new types of antihypertensive drugs in rodent models of hypertension.

Project summary


Despite current knowledge that the immune system plays an important role in hypertension disease progression and end-organ damage, this is one therapeutic the avenue that reminds to be explored. Thus, targeting receptor family integral to the inflammatory response, such as formyl peptide receptors (FPRs), may offer a the new therapeutic approach to attenuate hypertension and the associated inflammatory state.

Experiments will extend from cell-based studies to well-validated preclinical models of hypertension. The project will test the hypothesis that our prototype drug candidate will improve vascular function and protect against vascular injury in hypertension. We will examine the ability of FPR activator to lower blood pressure and limit consequential blood vessel inflammation and remodelling. The proposed studies will provide critical insight into the therapeutic potential of biased FPR agonists. We anticipate that this study will ultimately facilitate the development of exciting new ways to treat hypertension, that affects 25% of the population.


It is anticipated that this project will involve the use of animal models of disease, PCR, various molecular biology techniques and data analysis.

This project is suitable for an Honours student.

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