Lab head: Professor Stephen Twigg
Location: Level 3 West, Charles Perkins Centre

This group is headed by Stephen Twigg andSusan McLennan.

The research conducted by this group addresses a number of key complications associated with diabetes including: diabetic wound healing, neuropathy, cardiomyopathy, and diabetic nephropathy, as well as insulin resistance.

A/Profesoor McLennan also has an established interest in thyroid cancer.

Lab members: S Twigg (head), S McLennan (Principal Research Fellow), D. Min (Senior Research Fellow), X Wang ( Post doctoral fellow)

Monocyte phenotype switching in diabetes: -possible role in the development of complications

Primary supervisor: Danqing Min

Project description: Migration of monocytes from the circulation followed by their subsequent accumulation in tissue as differentiated macrophages is a process thought to be important in many diabetic complications. Monocyte differentiation into macrophage of various subtypes with potentially different activities can be monitored by examining the expression of cell surface markers and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activities. Our published studies show that diabetes can cause an alteration in the circulating monocyte phenotype in a manner which is associated with complications presence. However how diabetes affects these changes of monocyte profiles is not known and will be investigated in this study.

This Honours project is to investigate the effects of diabetic environments on monocyte profiles and functions. Whether vascular endothelial dysfunctioncould affect and may mediate this process will also be investigated. 

Skills: The project will be carried out in association with a team of enthusiastic and experienced researchers and would involve measurement of gene expression by quantitative real time RT-PCR, protein expression by western blot and ELISA as well as study of the matrix metalloproteinases by zymography. A correlation between monocyte phenotypic change and the development of diabetic complications may support the role of white cell activation in the development of diabetic complications.

Discipline: Pathology
Co-supervisors: Susan McLennan
Keywords: Diabetes, cell immunology, Inflammation