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Energy metabolism in the failing heart
University of Alberta
Department of Pediatrics
Dr. Sarah Forgie
Dr. Gary Lopaschuk
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Description: In fetal life, the heart obtains most of its energy requirements from the metabolism of carbohydrates. However, within days of birth, fatty acid oxidation increases dramatically (over 10 fold) and becomes the major fuel of the heart. Determining the cellular mechanisms responsible for the maturation of fatty acid oxidation following birth not only increases the understanding of the profound physiological changes that occur at birth, but also has direct clinical relevance in the protection of the newborn heart during cardiac surgery. Understanding the regulation of energy metabolism in the newborn heart could lead to improved therapeutic approaches for protecting the newborn heart during cardiac surgery. This project is determining whether the presence of cardiac hypertrophy in the newborn infant with congenital heart disease delays the maturation of fatty acid oxidation. Aim: The aim of this project is to better understand how hypertrophy impacts energy metabolism in the newborn heart, with the ultimate goal of optimizing energy metabolism in the newborn heart to improve heart function in infants with congenital heart disease. Methods: The student will be using molecular techniques to analyze key metabolic protein expression in heart biopsy samples obtained from infants during cardiac surgery.
What is the aim of the project?
The aim of this project is to better understand how hypertrophy impacts energy metabolism in the newborn heart, with the ultimate goal of optimizing energy metabolism in the newborn heart to improve heart function in infants with congenital heart disease.
What techniques and methods are used?
The student will be using molecular techniques to analyze key metabolic protein expression in heart biopsy samples obtained from infants during cardiac surgery.
What is the role of the student?
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- The tasks of the student will be performed on his/her own
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The student will be involved in laboratory bench research to perform western blot experiments to assess the expression of key proteins involved in controlling cardiac energy metabolism.
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’s name will be mentioned in a future publication
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
The only skill needed is the desire to learn. There are no legal limitations that the student would encounter. No formal report is required, although the student would be required to participate in preparing a manuscript for publication.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students - Graduated students (less than 6 months) - Pre-Medical students from the American-British system - Students in biomedical fields
- Lam VH; Zhang L; Huqi A; Fukushima A; Tanner BA; Onay-Besikci A; Keung W; Kantor PF; Jaswal JS; Rebeyka IM; Lopaschuk GD Activating PPARα prevents post-ischemic contractile dysfunction in hypertrophied neonatal hearts. Circ Res. 2015 Jun 19;117(1):41-51
- Fukushima A; Zhang L; Huqi A; Lam VH; Rawat S; Altamimi T; Wagg CS; Dhaliwal KK; Hornberger LK; Kantor PF; Rebeyka IM; Lopaschuk GD. Acetylation contributes to hypertrophy-caused maturational delay of cardiac energy metabolism. JCI Insight. 2018; 3(10):1-17.
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