You are what you eat? The gut microbiome and its regulation of heart disease

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Masters by Research, Honours students
Department / Centre
Baker Department of Cardiometabolic Health
Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Yung-Chih Chen Personal web page

Summary Can the gut microbiome be modulated as a treatment to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease?

Project Details

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the major cause of disability and death worldwide. It is typically caused by the rupture of atherosclerotic plaques in coronary arteries. The whole-genome human microbiome project revealed the diversity of microbes and identified many genes across various body parts and their fundamental roles in human health and disease. Recent clinical studies have demonstrated that circulating Trimethylamin N-oxide (TMAO) levels are associated with an increased risk of major adverse cardiovascular events.

Interestingly, gut bacteria are known to metabolize TMA as their growth factor and convert TMA to TMAO. Unsurprisingly, diets rich in carnitine, lecithin and choline are positively correlated to plasma TMAO levels. Nevertheless, the mechanism of how TMAO affects atherosclerosis is less clear. We would like to investigate this missing link by using our novel animal model of plaque instability and a novel compound to inhibit the TMAO production.

Students involved in this project will be trained in essential skills in atherosclerotic studies and basic histology. Basic molecular biology training will also provided. Further training in small animal imaging and molecular imaging is also possible for potential PhD students.

School Research Themes


Research Opportunities

PhD students, 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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