Assigning Functional Mechanisms to a New Coronary Artery Susceptibility Gene
Genome wide association studies have enabled us to identify genes which are associated with cardiovascular disease at the level of the whole genome. However, the challenge now is to establish the role of these genes in the pathology of cardiovascular disease.
This project will aim to exam the role of a novel candidate gene in cardiovascular disease. In order to addresses these questions we will use well established assays of primary cell function to assess how the loss of this candidate gene alters cell functions such proliferation, migration and the response to flow, using state of the art cellular imaging equipment as well as basic molecular biology skills. The information gained from these In vitro studies will then be used in a targeted fashion to investigate the role of the candidate gene in models of In vivo cardiovascular disease, in particular the development and regression of atherosclerosis and models of altered vascular function such as vascular injury and ischaemia models.
This DPhil will be based at the Welcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics under the supervision of Professor Channon and Dr Douglas. We are part of a wider scientific community with expertise in Cardiovascular Disease allowing for collaborative work with other senior scientist. By the end of this project the candidate will have developed a wide range of skills in both In vitro cell based assays as well as In vivo models of cardiovascular disease. Training in scientific techniques as well as scientific presentation and writing will be given throughout the project.
As well as the specific training detailed above, students will have access to a wide-range of seminars and training opportunities through the many research institutes and centres based in Oxford. Students are also able to attend the Methods and Techniques course run by the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine. This course runs through the year, ensuring that students have the opportunity to build a broad-based understanding of differing research techniques.
Generic skills training is offered through the Medical Sciences Division's Skills Training Programme. This programme offers a comprehensive range of courses covering many important areas of researcher development: knowledge and intellectual abilities, personal effectiveness, research governance and organisation, and engagement, influence and impact. Students are actively encouraged to take advantage of the training opportunities available to them.
The Department has a successful mentoring scheme, open to graduate students, which provides an additional possible channel for personal and professional development outside the regular supervisory framework. We hold an Athena SWAN Silver Award in recognition of our efforts to support the careers of female students and staff.
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