Understanding the role of locally synthesized steroids in the heart

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Master Places Available
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Lea Delbridge lmd@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr James Bell

Summary The Cardiac Phenomics Laboratory research is about understanding how the heart response to stress can be managed to minimize the damaging impacts of a variety of disease conditions. We investigate responses of the working ‘pumping’ heart, of specialized muscle tissues and cells from different regions of the heart and of molecular signaling processes. As our name suggests, we look at how the cardiac ‘genome’ (the genetically defined heart) is translated in different stressor situations to create the ‘phenome’ (the structurally and functionally defined heart).

Project Details

Important differences exist between women and men with regard to cardiovascular disease. This is likely related to sex steroid (estrogen and testosterone) actions on the heart. However, recent controversies about the use of sex steroid therapies in men and women highlight a lack of understanding of the underlying mechanisms by which sex and sex steroids influence the heart. We have recently shown in humans that both the myocardium and cardiac adipose express the enzyme aromatase – showing that estrogen synthesis can actually occur within the myocardium. In aging/obesity, when the onset of cardiovascular disease is prominent, the influence of this locally-synthesised estrogen likely increases. This project will use molecular and tissue recording studies of human and rodent tissues to determine how estrogens synthesised within the heart contribute to the development of cardiac rhythm and relaxation abnormalities.

Research Opportunities

PhD students, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.