Functional genomic approcches in cholesterol homeostasis and drug metabolism
Slovenia (SloMSIC) - University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana
Centre for Functional Genomics and Bio-Chips, Institut of Biochemistry
prof. dr. Ana Plemenitas
prof. dr. Damjana Rozman
English, French
4 weeks
Cities/Months Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Augt Sep Oct Nov Dec
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Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Nowadays cardiovascular diseases are among the major causes of mortality in the developed world. High cholesterol level in blood and atherosclerosis play the main role in progression of cardiovascular diseases. Reducing serum cholesterol level has been shown to avoid deleterious effects, whereas in serious diseases it improves the outcome. A widely used, statin-based therapy induces a decrease in de novo cholesterol biosynthesis in the liver. Another possibility for lowering serum cholesterol level is to block the uptake of dietary cholesterol from intestine.
Coadministration of statins and cholesterol uptake inhibitors provides an efficient therapeutical strategy. Several therapeutic agents, reducing serum cholesterol level, are able to regulate the expression of not only cholesterogenic enzymes, but of the major drug metabolizing enzymes, cytochromes P450. The crosstalk between cholesterol homeostasis and drug metabolism is mediated by nuclear receptors, activating target genes in response of endogenous and exogenous ligands. Better understanding of the crosstalk between cholesterol homeostasis and drug metabolism is essential for developing an adequate strategy in therapy and in novel drug development.

We study how statins, drugs used in humans for threatment of hyperlipidemias influence the expression of genes in the human liver.
What is the aim of the project?
The aim of the project is to apply post-genome approcches to understand better the positive and negative side effects actions of statins in humans.
What techniques and methods are used?
The student is expected to learn and use the technique of Real-Time PCR and some other basic laboratory techniques.
What is the role of the student?
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
There will be a theoretical introduction into the basics of the research project and after that the student will participate in the research project with investigating the expression of the metabolic genes in the liver of the mice. Student will collect and compare data from the samples and in the end of the research exchange project student will have an oral presentation of his/her findings.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a presentation
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Basic biochemistry and molecular biology knowledge is required.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts:
- Medical students
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