Heart disease and strokes are caused by the collection of cholesterol filled cells within the wall of arteries called atherosclerotic plaques. Oxidised cholesterol particles formed in the plaque causes cells to die and the plaque to rupture so triggering blood clot formation. This results in a heart attack if the clot stops the supply of blood to the heart, or a stroke if the supply to parts of the brain is affected. Our past research has described how a white blood cell generated antioxidant called dihydroneopterin protects the cells from oxidised cholesterol and inhibits the formation of oxidised LDL. Our research is now examining how the cell death is initiated by oxidized cholesterol particles and identifying the key control points in the process. The understanding of the cellular death mechanism is essential for the development of new treatments to prevent plaque formation.
Supervisor: Steven Gieseg
Key qualifications and skills
Biochemistry or cell biology or organic chemistry
Does the project come with funding
Yes - research costs are covered
Final date for receiving applications
Heart Disease, stroke, inflammation, health, Imaging