Defining new biomarkers and therapeutic targets in heart failure

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Masters by Research, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science, Post Doctor Researchers
Number of Honour Places Available
1
Number of Master Places Available
1
Department / Centre
Baker Department of Cardiometabolic Health
Location
Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Associate Professor Morag Young morag.young@baker.edu.au 03 8532 1111 Personal web page

Summary Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle weakens and is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. It is a major public health issue, affecting 30,000 patients each year in Australia. Recent research shows that the hormones aldosterone and cortisol may play a key role in heart muscle deterioration by activating the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR).

Project Details

Patients with high blood pressure caused by primary aldosteronism (PA) have excessive aldosterone in their blood and are particularly at risk of heart failure. Drugs which block the MR will block the effect of these hormones, and therefore improve heart failure. However, these drugs can cause salt imbalance in the blood because they also block MR in the kidney which is important for salt handling.
In addition, treatment for heart failure is often delayed as early heart failure is difficult to diagnose with non-specific symptoms of fatigue and shortness of breath. There isn’t a simple blood test to diagnose heart failure. We have investigated circulating white blood cells in patients with heart failure before and after they are treated with MR blockers and detected blood markers that correspond to functional changes in the heart and that may predict a patient’s response to treatment. These markers may also be suitable therapeutic targets for new heart failure drugs which do not cause kidney-related side effects.
This project will involve working with primary cells from patients, cell lines and molecular techniques including RT PCR, transfection, FACS and bioinformatic tools to understand the regulation, and role, of new biomarkers in circulating cells and in heart disease.


School Research Themes

Cancer in Medicine, Women's Health, Infectious Diseases and Immunity



Research Opportunities

PhD students, Masters by Research, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science, Post Doctor Researchers
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.

Department / Centre

Baker Department of Cardiometabolic Health

Research Node

Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute

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