Exploring the therapeutic potential of protein phosphatases in cardiometabolic disease

Research Opportunity
Masters by Research, Honours students
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
Dr Kate Weeks kate.weeks@baker.edu.au (03)85321205 Personal web page

Summary Heart failure is a debilitating condition in which the ability of the heart to meet the body's demands for oxygenated blood is compromised. Prognosis is poor, with approximately 50 per cent of patients with heart failure dying within 5 years of diagnosis. There is a clear need for new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of heart failure. This project will explore the role of a family of proteins known as ‘protein phosphatases’ in the development of heart failure, and whether phosphatases can be selectively targeted to improve outcome in mouse models of heart failure.

Project Details

Protein phosphorylation is a post-translational modification that switches proteins on and off to control cellular processes such as growth, survival and energy metabolism.  Dysregulation of phosphorylation contributes to maladaptive cardiac remodelling and dysfunction in settings of cardiometabolic disease, including heart failure, and represents a potential target for therapeutic intervention. Research has identified numerous protein kinases that are activated in settings of cardiac stress and injury and which contribute to the development of heart failure. However, the development of therapies targeting protein kinase activity have so far failed to translate into the clinic. Targeting protein phosphatases, which counteract kinase activity by dephosphorylating proteins, represents an alternative approach for manipulating protein phosphorylation in settings of heart disease. However, there is a knowledge gap concerning the function of specific protein phosphatases in regulating cardiac physiology and pathophysiology in settings of disease.

Student projects are available which will explore the function of cardiac protein phosphatases using pharmacological and genetic interventions in cell culture models. There may also be scope for conducting proof-of-concept studies using novel therapeutic compounds in in vivo models of cardiometabolic disease.


School Research Themes

Cardiometabolic



Research Opportunities

Masters by Research, Honours students
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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