Molecular basis of human heart failure

Summary

We are searching for molecular markers that distinguish between failing and non-failing human heart muscle.

Supervisor(s)

Professor Cris dos Remedios

Research Location

Camperdown - School of Medical Sciences - Bosch Institute

Program Type

Masters/PHD

Synopsis

In 1989 the Muscle Research Unit began to collaborate with the late Dr Victor Chang, and since then it has collaborated with the Heart/Lung Transplant Unit at St Vincent's Hospital, collecting over 25,000 samples from nearly 400 failing human hearts and more than 120 non-failing donor hearts. We share these samples with over 60 research groups around the world. Our collaborations involve a wide range of techniques. We use molecular analyses of DNA such as Next Generation Sequencing (Mayo Clinic, Imperial College London); and Genome Wide Association Sequencing (Academic medical Center, Amsterdam) using gene arrays (U. Minnesota, Nantes, France, and Harvard Medical School) or by genotyping (VU Medical Center Amsterdam). We study individual proteins such as the giant protein titin (Bochum University, Waseda Japan) and the proteins that regulate contraction/relaxation (troponins, cardiac myosin binding protein C (VU Med Ctr, Amsterdam, Imperial College London, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore), and the group employs a number of specialised techniques including molecular motility assays (Imperial College, London), single fibre dynamics (King's College, London), atomic force microscopy (Bochum, Germany), and Spontaneous Oscillatory Contractions (Sydney and Waseda, Japan). We also are working on ways to culture living heart muscle cells from tissue that has been stored for long periods. These activities are coordinated through access to one of the largest heart tissue banks in the worlds. Thus, these projects involve whole tissues, single cardiomyocytes, molecular assemblies, and individual molecules, all of which are directed to achieving a better understanding of the molecular basis of heart failure in man.

Additional Information

Techniques: gene chips, 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis, Western blots, electron microscopy, confocal microscopy, antibody arrays, bioinformatics. Other PhD Topics:

  1. Using antibody microarrays to examine cancer, autoimmune disease and inflammation
  2. A bioassay for biotoxic molecules in water
We are happy to work with medical students who wish to try their hand at research into human heart failure.

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Keywords

Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, familial dilated cardiomyopathy, ischaemic cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, peripartum cardiomyopathy, virus-induced cardiomyopathy, Molecular analyses, human heart failure, Cardiovascular & respiratory diseases, Genetic disorders, Cell biology, Health & lifestyle, Heart & circulation

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 239

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